Is forum traffic dropping?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by woolly|1, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. Site Statistics (monthly)

    • 6.0 million Visits
    • 3.6 Million Unique Visitors
    • 45.5 Million Page Views
    • 832,209+ Registered Members
    • 5,000 New Registrations
    • 375k Comments/Photos Posted
    Above are the monthly statistics from a few moments ago. Being in my eighth year of membership I feel that the number of questions and comments posted in the four fora that I frequent has dropped off quite a lot .... or is my appetite for new posts getting out of hand?
    My most visited areas are Casual... , Nikon, Rangefinder ... & Medium Format, btw.
    Do any of you guys feel the same way? If so, would you attribute it to .... lower disp income, busier lives, actually shooting more/less spare time, apathy?
    Yesterday (6th March) there were only 62 new questions asked (as counted in the Unified Forum)
    Considering the immense number of members the posts and replies are pretty much the same score or so responders.
    The site just seemed so much busier a few years ago. Or did I have so much more to learn back then?
    Observation over. :-0
     
  2. I agree, it seems ... sleepier. I chalk it up to people spending more time yammering on Facebook instead of yammering here. It is possible, I suppose, that at least a few people are actually out there making images. The very thought!

    It will be interesting to see if the new management/regime finds that the planned makeover for the site can reel some people back in, glue all of this more thoroughly to the social media services that are the current online lifeblood, and such. That's where the action is.
     
  3. Hi Matt,
    I'm a died in the wool anti-facebooker and my greatest fear is that some photo sites like this (for example) get so entwined with FB that having an account of theirs becomes a condition of membership.
    That's when I say goodbye to you all. ;-(
    I recently lead a team of oil design engineers and the biggest hindrance to production was FB. It's so normal now that workers don't even bother trying to hide it - like it's a right of theirs to use during work!!!
    - Rant ends-
    Regards
    Clive (not at work)
     
  4. Some forums are really dead. I only check the Olympus one about every two weeks. Even Classic Manual Camera forum has suffered a decline. I'm hooked on that one and check it every couple of days.
     
  5. Hopefully, there are enough of us dinosaurs to keep PNet thriving as a standalone. Also, I'm thinking that winder storms and geenerally crappy weather may be a factor in the decline of posts...
     
  6. Not to mention lousy proofreading. Dang!
     
  7. I blame facebook, and the accessibility to it through the iPad/iPhone/android. It's the other husband in many people's lives including mine. I think there are more female photographers, but facebook is particularly addicting to females and many have dropped away from it to facebook. It's also grabbed some young budding female photographers and prevented them from experiencing the art of photography and pursuing that craft. Talking to my brothers and other guys, facebook is known as the other husband. I can't get my wife away from it. It's sad when our 3 year old is crying for mommy to play with him, and her response is always that she has to respond to status updates. I used to shoot some nights and weekends but now my nights are watching my son so she can catch up on facebook and on weekends because she didn't do any chores during the week she uses the weekend to do them now instead leaving me to watch our son instead of doing some shooting. Feels good to vent a bit. Thanks
     
  8. Like everything else, the site needs to be revisited regularly to close and consolidate. There is a lot of fragmentation in my opinion and seemingly random brand forums. A entire forum for Minox?
     
  9. Mmmmminox forum has 7 (yes, that's 7) posts this year - less than one per week! With only 21 responses in total ...... buzzing over there then.
    That's certainly a mini camera forum ;-)
     
  10. It sure seems down. But I would not blame Facebook just like that - not without a serious investigation anyway. Facebook has been around quite a few years now, and the slow-down has really been a thing of the last year. So, to me, it seems premature to point a finger at facebook, and call it a day.
    That's not to say there is no influence from social media; it did change the way people expect to 'interact' with the internet. Forums are somewhat less direct, and less interactive than most social media. I regard p.net a community, and that's in many ways a good thing, but it is also a walled garden (even if the walls are low enough to climb). It's different enough from the social media model; and it might well be the usage model and the expectation it sets that's not pulling in enough fresh blood to p.net;
    there are enough of us dinosaurs to keep PNet thriving as a standalone​
    I agree, but one has to worry about that too. I often feel a youngster on this site, and I'm nearing 40. Having the vast wealth of experience available here is a great asset, but at the same time it also means that the site might sometimes seem a bit sedate to younger people. Yes, I would not be happy if a facebook account became mandatory for p.net, but at the same time, it would be worse if p.net would ignore FB as well. It is where the action is, as Matt said. It's especially where younger people are, many talented photographers and even more not-so-talented-but-willing photographers who could benefit hugely from this site (as I have). It's where there are a huge amount of potentially new paying subscribers also. So rather than pointing fingers at social media and condemn it, have an open-minded look at it and understand what we (as a community) can learn from it, as well as p.net management having a good look how to leverage social media more (which I assume they're doing).
     
  11. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    but at the same time it also means that the site might sometimes seem a bit sedate to younger people.​

    It's not about sedate. It's about the outright hostility often shown to things like phone cameras, which are what young people use. Whether that is a starting point for them or what they use forever is unclear, at least on this site, since there is such strong attitude against phone camera users. The expectation that everyone should have a pile of lenses and no kit lenses is similar - most younger people aren't going to spend a lot of money accumulating equipment when they are trying to figure out how to move out of their parents' homes. If there was more of a welcome for anyone enjoying photographing, it's possible that there would be new blood. But the way it is right now, I wouldn't even suggest the site to a young person starting out. Same for the hostile remarks about Facebook.
     
  12. To Jeff's excellent analysis above, I'd add the general hostile environment created by a handful of older
    gentleman keyboard warriors who monopolize threads going back and forth more than a dozen times (sometimes several dozen)
    trying to one-up the other(s) with clever oblique back-handed insults.
     
  13. Not calling willy-nilly members posts as "trolling" could help too.
     
  14. This is a really interesting thread and I agree with you -- finding a way to make it less hostile for new photographers is an important part of growth, which we need to keep going. I also agree that there is some streamlining that needs to be done regarding forums that aren't used anymore. You've inspired me to take a sec and reach out to a few new members to say hello.
     
  15. Jeff, in fact I agree, my choice for "sedate" was .... well, sedate. I meant it just as a nicer way to put what you said ;-) But yes, the internet isn't very kind to sites who cannot go with the times.
     
  16. I stumbled through the PN bar door in '97 and don't like what I see today. PN back then was rowdy, smart, generous, funny, informative and tolerant. Now? Not so much. Some forums are tomb-like; others are over-moderated gated communities. PN was proto-social media back in the day. But now?
    It's become a bit resource poor. More to know now, for sure, but not equal effort to keep up and to build a reputation for information.
    There's remarkably little community building going on. No local/regional boards or forums. Minimal inclusiveness.

    Seems a necessary question, so please, no shooting the messengers.
     
  17. "Do any of you guys feel the same way? If so, would you attribute it to .... lower disp income, busier lives, actually shooting more/less spare time, apathy?"
    iI think it's a combination of everything above, that and the highly anonymous nature of this forum...
     
  18. Retired or semi-retired photographers seem to have more time for the forums than busy young people. That may be one reason why they are not sufficiently used. Texting is quick and efficient for what it does. Considering a topic in some depth, as many do who post fairly long replies to posts, takes time. That may explain the apparent absence of younger contributors.
    Jeff has some good points, but it is probably true that those (and there are many) who think of photography less in terms of equipment and more in terms of the challenges of making photos are not very concerned whether the photographer is using $10,000 professional cameras ands optics or a more humble cellphone. The image and how it was perceived is what counts and should be the main thing. It is fun to meet younger and less experienced photographers and to reply to their needs and questions. That does go on a lot here and it is a very satisfying feeling.
    As for the lower posting rate, it is probably a function of various things. This time of year is a busy period for many and that may also play into the apparent slowdown. How to get more involvement? That will depend upon the strategy adopted by Namemedia. If it is just to get more numbers for advertising revenue, it may result in a lowering of the quality of the interactions and drive more serious photographers elsewhere. If that is "going with the times" it may yield a fairly predictable result and remove some of the appeal of Phot.Net.
    If the desire is to forget the numbers game and welcome young photographers and add to their knowledge base, the quality of interactions will increase and possibly also their frequency. I am always amazed at how few of the members actually (a) post images, (b) use the forums of discussion. Those are two areas of encouragement that might be used by the direction to inspire more use.
    Some think that the sometimes very opiononated responses or debates on issues in the forums are driving others away, but I find that a bit of a frail excuse as we live in a very dynamic public arena. If someone feels strongly about their activity, like photography,they will certainly want to interact. All levels of expertise and interest are welcome I believe and the civility of Photo.Net is very high compared to many sites.
     
  19. +1 Jeff and Brad.
     
  20. Young people use Facebook c.s.<br>And they do that from their cell phones - their images end up straight from there to all their friends on Facebook c.s. Things are instantly discussed through WhatsApp and the like.<br>Forums are 'old hat', for people who remember when PC's had a floppy drive ("What's a PC, old man, and if it is supposed to be a personal computer, why can't you carry it on your person?")
     
  21. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    Retired or semi-retired photographers seem to have more time for the forums than busy young people​

    Most young people spend just as much time on FB and Instagram as the retired and semi-retired spend here. It's not about how much time, it's about what the time is used for.
    Some think that the sometimes very opiononated responses or debates on issues in the forums are driving others away, but I find that a bit of a frail excuse as we live in a very dynamic public arena.​
    It does. Take a look at those threads. It's the same old arguments and the same old debaters. In fact, the Philosophy Forum reminds me of the local coffee shop. The retired and semi-retired have a section they dominate, sometimes arguing and sometimes just discussing, but the young people don't go there. It doesn't really grow, it's the same people for years. On the other hand, I have been sitting with another photographer my age going through prints in a public eating space and had crowds collect and look over my shoulder. Sometimes they ask questions.

    In addition, some of those old arguments are exactly the ones that chase out newcomers. The typical "when is a photograph not a photograph?" question is irrelevant to virtually all of the 90 million people who check into Instagram regularly. They aren't thinking about that. They are thinking about "how was that done?" or "why did you do that?" or just "I like it." The "what's a photograph" argument just tells them to look somewhere else for help.

    A good example of how forums can be more useful for is sportsshooter.com. They don't have quite as much traffic as here, but they are heavily moderated and they draw a different crowd, overall younger and more active. Someone asked about iPad workflow. They got 50 responses! Here you only see that in furious arguments that are forgotten and useless a week later, or for a new product introduction which includes a lot of pointless argument about what the manufacturer should be doing. Not all 50 responses there were useful, but if I want to find out about iPad workflow when I'm shooting sports, or even workflow to a laptop for instant upload, there are better places to ask. And that shouldn't be.
     
  22. Ann Overland was good for traffic, if nothing else. What happened to her? Where's the weekly picture post in casual? I asked about apps in the mobile phone forum awhile back and no feedback. Josh said, he agreed but that's it. That's another forum that ought to get moving with the younger crowd imo...
     
  23. It should be considered that a most of the long term members already know a lot of the information that is available here. The newer people in photography do need information. In casual conversations with beginners at the magazine stand I will scribble down this website so they can learn more about their equipment and find answers to their questions.
    Yes the younger crowd is into the newer technologies and are utilizing them. I am not. Just banging away on a desktop with five harddrives for storage. I prefer printing my images where a lot of the younger people do not appear to have that interest.
    With specialized websites for the different camera makers, is it any wonder that a lot of people have drifted away. Think of them as boutique websites, where PNet is a general camera maker website much like a brick and mortar store. Any of the forums might have specialized websites. Keep in mind there are other general websites that compete with PNet like The Luminous Landscape.
    We all have just so much time to work with, so we spend it in persuit of what gives us the better return.
     
  24. Brad, I really agree with you. In recent years I have really tried to restrain myself from being combative on PN. I have a lot of pictures on Facebook taken for the swimming organization that I shoot pictures for. It is a great way to get them to that organization's members as they are shot in large arenas in fairly large numbers. Having said that I just took an rather long DP Review survey about my photographic tastes and equipment. When the question came up about my favorite photo site I answered photonet and not DP. They asked why as I remember and I stated that there is a more human face on PN. That is still what I like about photonet over other sites. There is also a cadre of folks here on PN that kind of take over some threads and whose names are very familiar if one comes here regularly. Some of these responders are very knowledgable and they produce credible contributions. A few engage in the back and forth described by Brad. This may give the appearance of a good old boys club of experts who have the time to reply almost as new threads are posted. Sometimes the old boys club comments become quite patronizing which may discourage some of the more silent majority which is substantial according to the numbers.
    Having said that, even though I had my own photo business a few years ago and having used digital since 2002 I have learned an enormous amount on this site over the past seven years. I would like to see this site continue in a robust way. Facebook is a fact of life that can't be ignored. It is what it is and it is our competition. There needs to be attempts to make many more of our current registered members more active and, I think, there needs to be a major effort to cater to newcomers and beginners. Our demographic is certainly aging. Times change and in my life time if I have learned one thing is that you can't go back. Much as I would like to.
    One thing that really irritates me on PN is posting photographs compared to DP. On DP I can take a photo of almost any size and post it directly from Lightroom. Their software takes care of it and pictures show up in four or five user selectable sizes where you can actually see resolution. The procedures here are archaic and even though I have 130 pictures posted here I don't post much anymore because I have to manually size the pictures to 700 ppi on the long side to post on threads and lose resolution that I try very hard to accomplish in my pictures. Resizing takes more time than I would like to spend. Even facebook auto sizes pictures. 700 is too small as far as I am concerned.
     
  25. I still think organization and fragmentation of the forum is a turn off. A first timer is swamped with obscure titles such as mirrorless cameras( whoever went to a store and asked for a mirrorless camera). Then we have Olympus and Four-Thirds. We have Canon FD, which is distinguished by the mount then we have Canon EOS that is digital but the original EOS was a film camera. If you want to discuss EOS film cameras you have to head to the so called Modern Film Cameras, which everybody knows includes the EOS, of course. And no, people should not have to read a manifesto to figure put what is discussed in a forum. There are 45 forums, 45. We should be able to cap the forums to 15 and resist the temptation to open up a new forum every time something new pops up. This sort of compartmentalization prevents people from being exposed to new products and viewpoints. Here is my list for a clean and uncluttered P.net. Comments welcome.
    - One forum per camera brand(digital), flash, accessories etc.
    - One forum for all film cameras, flash, accessories etc.
    - One forum for all film and processing.
    - One forum for medium and large format.
    - One forum for wedding, portrait and fashion photography.
    - One forum for commentaries of all kind.
    I am still under the 15-forum cap, so there is room for some more.
     
  26. I am still under the 15-forum cap, so there is room for some more.

    Yeah Off Topic for lunatics and renegades.
     
  27. I think Brian makes a good point about site fragmentation.
     
  28. Most young people spend just as much time on FB and Instagram as the retired and semi-retired spend here. It's not about how much time, it's about what the time is used for.​
    Jeff, can you provide a link to an FB page of young photogs having a discussion that's more interesting and compelling than what's here on Photo.net? I've looked and looked but have never been able to find a discussion that goes beyond your typical "great shot/really inspiring" exchanges and the FB privacy settings don't let on to the real ages of the participants as well.
    It appears from your level of authority on the subject you've found a way to locate FB stats I can't seem to find. How do you know the ages and quality of discussions on FB? How do you find them?
     
  29. I think there are life cycles to all forums. Many of my favorite forums have slowed to a crawl. Interest peaks and then subsides. Ironically, the Off Topic topics ( note, especially guns ), probably generates a great deal of traffic, something advertisers like!
     
  30. Jeff's rigth of course but there's more. There's too much yapping about equipment (if not downright fetisjism) and far too less photography.
    There's too much facetious name dropping but knowledge about contemporary photography, let alone the history of photography? Few and far between.
    Too many people here are too dependent on a pet on the back as if that matters at all. Paired with no interest at all in constructive criticism which should and does matter.
    And I'm an optimist. Go figure.
     
  31. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    Jeff, can you provide a link to an FB page of young photogs having a discussion that's more interesting and compelling than what's here on Photo.net?​

    I didn't say there were discussions. I said they spend time. They share photos and look at them. They have strong feelings about what they are doing and showing rather than endless discussions about equipment.

    I know the ages of the people I am connected to, which range from 18 to 80. I see what they and their friends are posting. I am also on Instagram occasionally and see things there. It is usually easy to tell by what they post.
    Ann Overland was good for traffic, if nothing else.​

    That's a good example of how traffic can be useful or not useful.
     
  32. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Agree with Jeff, you can't blame FB. Especially when other sites like tumblr, flickr, 500px, et al have flourished at the same time as FB. PN has been on the decline since Phil and Brian fiasco of 2006'ish and people discovered Flickr. Today, a little too late, the idea and use of forums is a dying.
    PN interface is horrible and creates too much anxiety for new users: get a friend to make an account and have them TRY to upload photos and navigate through the user panel. My gosh. If that isn't tricky enough, try doing PN on mobile. I search Google for a ton of photo stuff and PN rarely comes up in results. PN is not geting new users or traffic that way.
     
  33. Some of the members are responsible for this in being unfriendly to new members. It can be extremely daunting for a new photographer to post here. I appreciate that there are double posts and times and simply the same question being asked, members have a duty to the community to refrain from being unfriendly.
     
  34. And what is with not allowing to link to other images? What is the difference between a link and actually seeing what that link is. Talk about arcane. This forum is one step above what usenet used to look like.
     
  35. I spend most of my time here on Classic Manual and Modern Film, and with the Nikon and EOS forums for digital (non-collector) equipment. Not to mention No Words.
    I look at some of the non P.net sites that seem to follow some of the suggestions above, and there are few pictures and the discussions look like merely chains of tweets.
    If you want pictures, go to No Words and the critiques. There is a place for hardware (and software) discussions too.
     
  36. Brian,<br>I know that people think that copyright is arcane, that everything on the net is free to all. ("Pirates" they call themselves. A good choice.) But it isn't.<br>Embedding a picture in PNet through an image-tag is publishing that picture in another context, outside of the original publication. Which is in violation of copyright law. Directing people to the original publication is just that.<br>If you would elect to make all of your stuff on the net free for all, that's your decision. But it is not arcane to respect other people's different choice.
     
  37. Brian, as Q.G. described, photo.net's policy evolved to cope with some specific real world issues regarding reproduction of images:
    • Some photographers and artists don't care whether you've copied and pasted, downloaded and re-uploaded or embedded a link to their images that shows their images on another site. If the image appears in any form whatsoever other than the method chosen and, in some cases, specified by the the photographer or artist, it may be considered a copyright violation.
    • Embedding photos hosted elsewhere may impose costs on the remote host's servers. This may impose an unreasonable burden on photographers and artists who struggle to meet expenses while also maintaining a reasonable internet presence.
    • Photo.net doesn't have the resources to determine whether usage of photos, images or documents complies with complex international copyright and fair usage laws. So photo.net's policy is very simple and easy to understand: Upload, attach or embed only your own photos.
    The fact that the rest of the interwebs plays fast and loose with copyright and fair usage doesn't make it right.
    Despite my own personal opinions regarding the remix, re-appropriation and overall culture of re-interpreting art, intellectual property and pop culture, I respect photo.net's policy. It's not that difficult. I compartmentalize my behavior to suit the venue. Again, it's not that difficult. I used to be an amateur boxer. I confined my sparring to the gym and fights to sanctioned bouts. I didn't go around randomly hitting people claiming "Fair usage!" or "Mike Tyson does it! Why can't I?" We all compartmentalize our behaviors. That's how polite societies function.
     
  38. "I search Google for a ton of photo stuff and PN rarely comes up in results."​
    I'm wondering whether Google's filter bubble and other factors are at play here. Photo.net usually figures prominently in my photo related Google searches. Might be differences due to geographic location, browser settings and other privacy functions.
     
  39. I said they spend time. They share photos and look at them. They have strong feelings about what they are doing and showing rather than endless discussions about equipment.​
    Jeff, how do you see that in a browser page? Do they post pictures of themselves looking at each other's uploaded photos. If they're not saying anything, how do you know they're there.
    Or are you looking at a browser page gallery wall and seeing images pop up on screen, a new image with each poster?
     
  40. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Please take a look at DPReview.com's legal and copyright page: http://www.dpreview.com/misc/termsandconditions
    They make it very clear that you are not allowed to "hot link" their images to display on web pages outside of DPReview, for reasons exactly as Q.G. and Lex pointed out.
     
  41. Photo.net usually figures prominently in my photo related Google searches.​
    Lex, could you give me a search term you use so I can try it in my browser? None of my New Braunfels (my home town) tagged Photo.net gallery images still don't show up in a Google search after embedding tags in them a year ago.
    But uploading them to the Wikipedia New Braunfels gallery section and entering "New Braunfels" as the google search terms has its wiki page show up on the first page.
     
  42. Facebook is just a very different vibe from photo.net or any regulated discussion forum-type website. Social networking isn't parasitic - it's symbiotic. If you haven't tried it, go in without any expectations or preconceived notions. You may be pleasantly surprised.
    Keep in mind that there are no moderators, per se. Other than Facebook's faceless, nameless complaints department, any moderation is up to your own wetware or software. If you have difficulty overlooking unmoderated opinions, download the Social Fixer add-on for Firefox. I use it to divert certain posts to tabs for browsing when I'm in the mood and have time.
    It's actually quite liberating and I've generally enjoyed a more open give and take with some of the same folks I used to butt heads with on photo.net. For whatever reason, the less restrictive flow of Facebook and Google Plus may offer what some folks say they're missing on discussion forums. It's a challenge to our personal senses of the differences between civil conversations, one-sided rants or filibustering, and genuinely democratic or even anarchic exchanges.
    In my personal experience and opinion, folks who think they want the latter - unregulated, free or non-violent anarchy in expression - actually want usenet or anonymous image board type venues like 4chan. True pseudonymity or anonymity can be liberating as well. But be careful what you ask for. You may get it. If you're using a pseudonym here on photo.net yet still find yourself attaching some unwarranted value to your opinion based on purported experience for which you cannot or will not provide any evidence due to concerns about privacy, well... you only *think* you want genuine anonymity online.
     
  43. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    If they're not saying anything, how do you know they're there.​

    If you use Facebook, you should be able to understand.
     
  44. Who wants to bet nothing will change here as a result of this thread?
     
  45. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    I'd like to hope a few attitudes change.
     
  46. In fact, the Philosophy Forum reminds me of the local coffee shop. The retired and semi-retired have a section they dominate, sometimes arguing and sometimes just discussing, but the young people don't go there. It doesn't really grow, it's the same people for years.​
    Perhaps philosophy simply doesn't appeal to the younger photographer, and many others as well. The nature of the OPs are from my experience miles beyond most old fogy chat in your coffee shops. Most of the chat there isn't that much different from than a boring client you sit not far from in a restaurant and who spends all his time asking his wife what else should he pick up before going home or some similar profound discussion.
    Perhaps the presence of some members in the PofP forum over the years is because this is a subject that inspires them and to some degree drives their photographic approches and art, or their fascination with the human process of conception. Photo.Net should perhaps make some real effort to get new photographers more engaged in such discussions, as the survival of this rather unique forum, and some other Photo.Net forums, is an identifier of Photo.Net and what sets it apart from other photo sites.
    Complaining about the personality or interests of some members is no solution. Photo.Net is a pretty democratic, civil and interesting place. We are responsible for making it better, but that takes individual personal efforts and not boycotting forums because we believe they are frequented by those we may not agree with.
     
  47. "Lex, could you give me a search term you use so I can try it in my browser?"​
    I'll need to try minimizing the Google search bubble as a factor. It's possible my ISP and browser settings are showing me what Google thinks I want to see.
     
  48. "Who wants to bet nothing will change here as a result of this thread?"​
    Believe it or not, photo.net is largely member driven. Be the change. Be positive. Be consistent. If the change is compatible with most members, the change will happen.
    There is a flip side. If you're pessimistic, inconsistent, or selfish in proposed changes, the change may not succeed.
    A good example of positive change are the various weekly photo threads on many forums. Those came about as the result of positive, consistent and consistently positive and selfless efforts by individual members. Their efforts were inclusive, not exclusive, and intended to encourage participation, not to be one-person shows.
    Examples of unsuccessful efforts at change were usually attributable to unreasonable expectations of immediate success; failure to consistently set a positive example; making threads one-person shows rather than invitations to embrace as many participants as possible.
     
  49. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    Photo.Net is a pretty democratic, civil and interesting place.​
    That sounds like a place for people who are old and don't have anything else to do. Once again, it's not generating new traffic through those qualities.
    not boycotting forums because we believe they are frequented by those we may not agree with.​

    Did someone say they were doing that?

    Look, it's simple. The typical 22 year old is not coming to photo.net. A forum like the Philosophy Forum is a romper room for mostly older guys. That's not the way to inject new blood into a site, and it certainly doesn't help generate the advertising revenues that are essential.
     
  50. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Lex for President.
     
  51. I'm actually beginning to check out the "rumor" sites more often as they are simply more exciting. It's not a conscious decision.
     
  52. What is this obsession with attracting the young? Is anybody fretting over on Instagram(which I have never been to) why there aren't enough mature voices? Old and young are not permanent states. The young will get old. All we have to do here is to wait for them.
     
  53. It's about the outright hostility often shown to things like phone cameras, which are what young people use. Whether that is a starting point for them or what they use forever is unclear, at least on this site, since there is such strong attitude against phone camera users. The expectation that everyone should have a pile of lenses and no kit lenses is similar - most younger people aren't going to spend a lot of money accumulating equipment when they are trying to figure out how to move out of their parents' homes. If there was more of a welcome for anyone enjoying photographing, it's possible that there would be new blood. But the way it is right now, I wouldn't even suggest the site to a young person starting out.​
    I didn't read the entire thread. I skimmed a lot of it but I may have missed something. Maybe what people aren't acknowledging is there isn't a lot to say. I mean if you use the handy search function up in the right hand corner most of your questions will be answered. I've shown up, retrieved what I needed, and departed without logging in most of the time. Posting a lot of the time is just a social thing. But really if I need an answer I can generally find it with a few searches. After years of informative posts the forum has achieved its goal. It is a wonderful archive of knowledge. Honestly doesn't it irritate people when people post a question that has been addressed 10 times before?
    As far as camera phones and the like are concerned besides things like portability and fast upload of results there are much better tools to do the job. If all someone has is a camera phone I don't think anyone on this forum would discourage them from taking pictures. But if they asked about image quality, ergonomics, control, etc. a forum member would be derelict in their duty if they did not speak about other better options. I don't see 35mm shooters complaining when MF guys say MF has better image quality. And I don't see MF guys getting sore when the large format guys show up at the party. I personally appreciate everyone on this forum and others that were honest with me about film, digital, medium format film, view cameras, etc. I needed to know the facts. I didn't need someone to coddle me and tell me whatever camera I was holding was the best for everything. Just tell me the truth and let me pick whatever trade offs work for me. Currently the largest thing I shoot is medium format. But that doesn't mean I'm going to say large format doesn't have an image quality advantage. It's time for people to stop taking things so personally and just be objective.
    You look at the threads that people pour into and you see things like "If You Place a Red Crayon Under a Bowl, What Color Is It?" That was a top thread for weeks. Sorry if people don't log in day after day to contribute to that. I really would much rather be out taking pictures or getting information about a possible $300 photographic purchase than endlessly debating that. It's fine if other people want to do it but that is not where most shooters I know live.
     
  54. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    If all someone has is a camera phone I don't think anyone on this forum would discourage them from taking pictures.​

    Doesn't sound like you read the forums much.
     
  55. The statistics should be looked at by the owners. There are tens of thousands of members yet comparatively very few posters. Adding another few thousand will do what? Maybe it will make the revenues more attractive to the owners, but it won't change anything. If the quality doesn't improve at the same time, people will have little reason to stay. What you need to do is to encourage people to post and GET INVOLVED or Photo.Net is going to outlive its usefulness to many.
    Going on and on by some about how they don't like the long term members use of the forums (they are at least using them, which others are not) is just shooting themselves in the foot.
    Those forum using people, at least, seem to be trying to make this place work. They also want to see new members, not for revenues alone, but to stimulate discussions.
     
  56. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    Going on and on by some about how they don't like the long term members use of the forums​

    Who said they don't like long term members? Is reading a lost art?
     
  57. True pseudonymity or anonymity can be liberating as well. But be careful what you ask for. You may get it. If you're using a pseudonym here on photo.net yet still find yourself attaching some unwarranted value to your opinion based on purported experience for which you cannot or will not provide any evidence due to concerns about privacy, well... you only *think* you want genuine anonymity online.​
    I'm often disheartened when I read advice where the poster shows none of their work. How can you trust what they are saying is based on any real experience? Maybe they're a blowhard. Especially if they're not using their real name. Even if there is experience, the purported process recommendation on whatever may not be your cup of tea. But how do you know unless you can see the results of their recommendation and make up your mind whether to try their suggestion. I would like to see results so I can decide whether to try their suggestion before wasting my time with a different process. Without posting pictures, I usually just discard any recommendations a poster gives. A poster should have some willingnesss to expose themselves before telling others what they should do.
    "Show me the money."
     
  58. "Can it just be a coincidence that a current very active thread is What is your favorite breed of cat?"
    Cats and dogs may not be particularly relevant to photography, but the value and contribution of the Off Topic forum to this site is probably underestimated.
    It's a place where participants can get to know one another at another level. It's the only Facebook-like corner where we can engage socially and reveal/discuss our diverse interests and share viewpoints on everything except photography. Manny, if not most of the participants in the OT forum are also long time members unlikely to abandon the site.
    Think about it; what is Facebook, really, except a massive off topic forum with the freedom to talk about everything through photography?
     
  59. Lex, I read a great article recently that said google is fated to become more and more inaccurate over time, and it's starting now. google is based on pulling up sites that are determined by the amount of hits they get, not the validity of the information. After a while, errors become cumulative. Photo.net's data base is a godsend for me when it comes to info I need on old cameras, and I always come to the site here to do my searches. As for snipers, it's the internet, and I know from experience that it's going to happen here and elsewhere. I must say that I find it a lot better than it used to be. The site is over moderated and has too many categories and little rules, but that's just my take on it, and I don't think that site traffic is related to that. Having worked many years in market research, it's surely best to have an independent company do a relevant survey and determine what's up w/ that. It's probably related to the down economy, and the fact that things sometimes cycle up or down for no particular reason. Forum sites are probably like communes. As much as everyone espouses to love collaboration and decision by consensus, the truth is that communes set up like that rarely survive, while those w/ strong, somewhat dictatorial leaders thrive. Is a commune a good model for an internet photography forum? Probably as good as any. It's people dealing w/ people.
    It would help to upgrade the server too. I can't seem to get this posted, and it happens a lot.
     
  60. Clive started this thread about 18 hours ago. Google or Bing the entire first paragraph of the OP and see what comes up from everything in the Internet archive.
    [Google]
    [Bing]
     
  61. FB is a temple of one-upmanship where hundreds of millions of people say "look at me, look where I am, look what I'm doing, I'm next to a pretty girl/boy" and accompany it with a thumbnail phone photo. It must be really intimidating to the guys who don't have sparkly, eventful lives and hundreds of 'friends'! It's just a different demographic.
    Many contribributors and moderators alike get so deep into scientific matters batting a moot point back and forth, almost getting personal, I wonder if we shouldn't have a back room where they can go to slug it out.
    P.net is in places just too dry and the learning curve too steep for the average transient visitor to hook into.
    For some, shallow is good.
    If Pnet can learn something from FB 'we' might make it easier to add images inline, double column perhaps with click throughs to full res versions like Flickr or Pbase. Honestly, it's such a work-up adding photos inline. You can see where people have tried and after several empty postings have simply given up.
    Would you rather read a screen full of plain text or look at a page with a little more candy on it?
    I don't think the search function works as well as RFFs either
    @ Michael
    I googled my 1st, then 2nd and finally a paragraph from halfway down. Got this thread every time as first result.
    What was the point you were trying to make? Did I miss something? :)
     
  62. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "Clive started this thread about 18 hours ago. Google or Bing the entire first paragraph of the OP and see what comes up from everything in the Internet archive."

    I don't get the significance? I research a ton of stuff and rarely see PN on the first or second page. How about googling "how to make a Photoshop action"? PN doesn't show up on the first two critical pages of my results yet ketchuptomyfries.blogspot.ca, does. This must be a big problem for the owners of PN and selling advertising space
     
  63. "FB is a temple of one-upmanship"
    Clive, Facebook is as you described if used that way. The folks I follow and "Like" on Facebook are nothing like that.
    I see the difference as follows:
    Facebook is a platform which you can adapt the site features to best achieve your intended objective; it can be very fruitful if used intelligently.
    P.net is a site which a participant must adapt to and participate within its site rules; there is little one can do to differentiate oneself given the site's constraints.
    An example - a war photographer on Facebook will have thousands of followers not only for the pictures, but the entire backstory of the conflict that can solicit discussion that touches on everything from politics to philosophy. The photographer retains his identity.
    The same photographer on P.net will be anonymous for the most part.
     
  64. Just tried again to Google search for various paragraphs up and down this thread and half the time no hits at all.
    Even googled the emboldened text from Eric's post above....and no cigar. Stopped looking at the 5th page.
    Strange stuff.
    @ Michael
    I will bow to your superior experience of the site. It has moved on significantly sinced I closed my account on security/privacy grounds.
    Pnet doesn't have to be anonymous - believe it or not this is my real name :)
     
  65. Lex said it right when he stated facebook is symbiotic. That's exactly it.
    This thread is useful, but it shouldn't become a rant against Facebook, because FB is not where the problem is. FB is merely the most outspoken example of how the internet changed.
    Roughly, exposure on the internet currently has two vital channels: Google and Facebook. Both require expertise and a good plan to get the best out of. Despite the discussion in the preceding posts, I find p.net ranking with Google to be excellent. But if you start searching for a 18 hour old thread, then you seem to be missing how Google works - it needs to index first. Google isn't real-time. When I search for opinions on lenses, filters, tripods - p.net is there.
    While p.net has some FB presence, it's tame, and it won't go viral. This is an area to study, it needs a plan of sorts - it isn't easy to go very popular on facebook. If you succeed, though, there is a lot to win there.
    I think what was said earlier about too many forums is true. One other thing to consider there is that it might be worth studying the demographics of members. I know there are quite some Italian photographers here on p.net - via critiques and so on, they're present enough. But they're not on the forums, because everything is English. So, how about adding a Spanish, Italian, Chinese forum? (and a Lomo forum, obviously!)
    Here, though, I'd also caution to not throw out the child with the bath water. The Philosophy forum, disliked as it may be by some, is fairly unique and has its own attraction. The Minox forum might be terribly small, but a quick look around shows there aren't many other places covering it. Upholding these niches is also part of the attraction that p.net can have.
    Photo.net is certainly one of the most civil photography forums/sites, and not half as gearheaded as some claim here (try dpreview for a refreshing view on what real gearheads are like). Yes, there could be more focus on photography and discussing photos. The forums may seem to have slowed down, the critiques are in a way worse shape. But look at the total package of what the site offers. The learning section should be cleaned up and put far more prominently in place, plus refreshed more often. Integrate areas of the site, and more prominently. Reviews, for example; start to allow user reviews of gear, old and new? That gets people in, plus on that page one can link to relevant discussions in the forums, show photos shot with that specific gear, and so on (for the older gear, try to find a deal with eBay, and show relevant auctions).
    And maybe find ways to use the 'community feel' more. Live chat? It could reduce ping-pong discussions in forums... Blog space for members (or maybe make that a paid member offer) where the more opinionated members can expose their ideas in more verbose ways than forums.
    Shouting at FB will not make p.net a better place. This community is strong and diverse enough, knowledgeable enough and usually willing enough, so it's basically up to p.net management to draft good plans, and up to ourselves to keep p.net relevant and alive.
    I'd say: stop searching for this discussion in Google, use that time to critique photos and answer in the beginner's forum in a pleasant and open-minded way instead. Let's get started.
     
  66. I think the forum is just like it is in one's personal life. When you move into a new neighborhood, there is excitement in meeting new people initially. As one begins to know certain individuals better, opinions begin to develop; I like this person better but not so much that person. That is pretty much the norm.
    And then one day, "that" person offends, whether intentional or not, or "that" person doesn't get the recognition they expected, or "that" person trys to elicit help from "buddies" in their clique to prove their point. The next thing you know, the offended individual deletes all of their history/background and posted photos in a self-imposed punitive attempt with the intent of drawing attention to themselves. When that doesn't work, they nearly fade into obscurity. They take their ball and go home. No more contributions. End game.
    That's too bad. Everyone has something to contribute. If you see yourself above, I would ask that you question why you are here. Are you making positive contributions?
     
  67. While I find this an interesting read, I think that the wrong people are contributing. The people here are those who are still active on the site. I'd like to hear from people who do NOT post anymore, and find out why they don't. I'd especially like the MODERATORS to hear why they don't. Perhaps instead of speculating, this would be a good time for the moderators to reach out to them, to send out some e-mails to these people who used to post, asking why they don't anymore.
    I can tell you why I stopped being active ( though I do browse the site often). In the Nikon forum especially, I find the moderation WAY too heavy-handed. It's like a sporting event in which all you remember are the referee's calls; people don't go to see the refs, they go to see the teams. It turns me off to see the moderators front and center, I'd rather see them only intervene if things get off-topic or out of hand. Another problem is that people often ask for advice then disappear. You don't hear back about how things worked out, if the fix that they tried was successful or not.
    In this thread from 2009, I took an hour to make a carefully thought out reply, but never got a response from the original poster.
    http://www.photo.net/photography-lighting-equipment-techniques-forum/00SbBe
    In this thread from 2010, I made what I thought was some good advice to the OP about buying ZF primes over ZE, as you can use the ZF's across multiple camera systems with an adaptor. Since they are manual focus lenses anyway, there is really no downside to this, as there would be with an auto-focus lens. The Nikon Moderator effectively said that this was bad advice (page 2). Other posters thought that I had made a sound contribution to the thread.
    http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00WgnD
    I didn't make any posts for two years after that. I gave it one more try in 2012. In this thread, I took the time to go through boxes of old receipts to find the specific numbers of a rubber power cord that I used to solve the same problem that the OP had. I never got any acknowledgement.
    http://www.photo.net/photography-lighting-equipment-techniques-forum/00Zzai
    While I will continue to visit, unless things change I'm not really inclined to contribute any more.
     
  68. Then there is Flickr. That is a big draw. You are in control of your site, you can revise ad infinitum, you can post up to fifty megs and you can block and delete trolls all by yourself. Whatever you say about Flickr it is a draw. The only problem is that there is little discussion on Flickr. That is where photo.net shines.
    I am not a nostalgic person by nature. But I have good reason to not be nostalgic about the abuse in the form of personal attacks that went on in the old days. I know of a few very good photographers who dropped out because of that. I near did a few times. That sort of thing is not tolerated anymore, thank goodness. (I mean it's now zero tolerance, at least officially.) Yet, I have to confess that to this day I am reluctant to post questions or to take a lot of risks because of past abuse.
    Is there still abuse, by the way? I admit to being a sketchy Photo.net reader.
    I find that the Leica and RF Forum is way too quite these days, however I do not miss some of the extremes of the old days. I do not know why it is so quite. The Classic Manual Cameras Forum is both spicy and pleasant.
    The Mirrorless Camera is lively but has rather light traffic. But keep an eye on it. It will grow as mirrorless cameras become more sophisticated and, at some point, eclipse the DSLRs.
    One of the most popular Forums is Photo Critique. You might wonder why that is.
     
  69. "I'd like to hear from people who do NOT post anymore, and find out why they don't. I'd especially like the MODERATORS to hear why they don't. Perhaps instead of speculating, this would be a good time for the moderators to reach out to them, to send out some e-mails to these people who used to post, asking why they don't anymore."​
    I've done that with a few folks who became less active or left photo.net. The reasons varied.
    Some, like you, would have preferred less active moderation. Others, like Alex, felt discouraged by posters who were belligerent, sarcastic or uncivil. So some folks would prefer more moderator intervention. For mods, striking a balance requires experience, a bit of intuition and some luck. We don't always get it right from every member's perspective.
    Other folks had no particular opinions about or disagreements with moderation, but preferred sites that focused almost exclusively on the equipment itself, the next big thing and rumors. Others may prefer sites or groups that emphasize film and traditional darkroom processes. Others may be infatuated with a specific type of camera and happen to find all the inspiration, motivation and camaraderie they need within such a niche group.
    Still other folks preferred a different type of photo feedback. Some found photo.net's critiques/ratings too harsh, unhelpful, etc. Others found it too blandly congratulatory and indifferent to actual, specific critiques.
    The opinions I've heard have been so diverse and almost contradictory that the only thing I'd be willing to say for certain is that there is no subtle adjustment or radical change in photo.net's culture that will please everyone.
    The challenge for a generalist site like photo.net is to remain relevant in an online world where many folks enjoy and even prefer niche communities. And those niche websites are easy and affordable to set up and maintain. Micro-niches can be set up within Flickr, for example, including groups for one specific camera model. And as that model is discontinued and members lose interest, there was little invested in the group so it's easy to move on.
    My intuition is that photo.net's strength may be in tutorials written by experienced members, and a more vibrant photo critique process with frank, specific and constructive critiques. But the tricky bit is the incentive. If folks want tutorials or critiques from recognized professionals or amateurs with demonstrated expertise, it won't come free - at least not for long, not after the initial buzz of enthusiasm wears off.
    As for discussion forums, they are what they are. Photo.net's aren't really much different, better or worse than any other photo website with discussion forums. I lurk on several other sites and overall they're all pretty similar.
     
  70. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    People I know who have stopped posting typically cite a problem Eric mentions above - it's too hard to post photos and the interface for viewing them is clunky. For the vast majority of people, photography is about photographs, not about yacking endlessly about what product is best or next. There is also a perception from some that a lot of the posters don't actually do much photography, but are more about camera collecting. Sites like Flickr, Google+ and Facebook are easier to post at, easier for photo browsing, and have more viewing, which is what a lot of people want. Most people, in fact.
     
  71. I think many who post are conscious of the fact that they are either discussing someone else's image (as in POW) or are discussing some specific point that is more methodology or a query about that and are perhaps reluctant to appear to "grandstand" with their photographic uploads in those circumstances.
    Asking for a photo critique, which I often do, is a bit different than posting a comment or question in a forum. It is often very beneficial. Given that, there is probably no reason why Photo.Net cannot develop some new photo-intensive forums that would add to others where photo critique is done. I am not referring to the wordless or word-limited (N/NW?) posts, which are fun, but of a different type. I don't see the PNet system of photo uploading as particularly clunky. As this is a largely anonymous member and widely viewed site, limiting the size of images is just a safeguard against theft of some of our more cherished photos.
    How to encourage more photograph posting within the framework of a discussion forum?
    One possible example: I once asked publicly here (in the philosophy forum, about 4 or so years ago) for a forum titled something like "photographic approaches" which would incite members to discuss their particular methods and ideas and provide examples, allowing others to either graft onto that approach and provide their examples, or to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the approach described. I got the reaction that the philosophy forum was good enough for that purpose. I thought not, still think not, and time has shown that to be palatable.
    Such a forum on "photographic approaches" could be limited to two or three such posts per week, to allow enough traffic and to not ignore discussing some member's initiative in posting. There are also other ideas for interactive forums that are beyond the scope of this discussion (causes versus solutions). I would like to see a request of Photo.Net to its members on how to improve the site, from different angles (forums, photo portfolios, etc.). One forum which should be more highly trafficked, but is not, is the coming events forum. Zero input.
    As there is a desire of people to post their photos somewhere, that will probably always be an activity of Photo.Net, for both photographic and commercial (sponsor) reasons. If we don't encourage more participation in the discussion forums, whether related to equipment or practice, people will prefer sites like Rff, apug or some equipment specific sites, or will engage with blogs like that of Mike Johnston otr Luminous Landscapes.
     
  72. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    The easiest way to create anxiety and frustration with your customer (and the hardest to undo) is to be inconsistent. It would only take you a couple visits to McDonald's and have you get different quality hamburgers during those visits, in order for them to lose you as a customer. They don't have to be good burgers, they don't have to bad burgers, they just have to be the same consistent burger. Imo, the moderation from forum to forum should be fluid, expected, and uniform. Instead, PN has heavy-handed over-moderation of some forums like the Nikon forum, and a complete lack of moderation in others like the digital darkroom. It could easily be solved by rotating the moderators through the forums. Maybe once a month they switch the forums that they mod.
     
  73. I am a member of www.streetphotographyforum.com and it's taking a aaage to take off. There are a few commited members and even those who don't post too frequently are producing good work in the main. But sometimes it feels like it's a tiny internet based club. Only 100+ members so far, despite the best efforts of some. I feel smaller forums can be better, as each individual member is more relevant, but TBH, many people seem happy with the equipment/results they get these days. The artistry of photography, it seems, is in post-processing, not actually taking the picture.
    Fewer people seem to want to really get the best out of their equipment. It's so often a case of Night Landscape Mode and click rather than thinking about things. I have a colleague who told me today he "didn't have time" to hang his clothes up and "needed" a dryer. But of course, being in Asia, he didn't want to actually find one on his own. Cue a phonecall to a local to get him a dryer. Not only was he too "busy" to hang his clothes up, he was too busy to even buy one himself. People often think like this these days. Who wants to learn how to use a camera? That's lame!
    Of course, show them a few nice prints and it's a different story.
     
  74. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    people will prefer sites like Rff, apug or some equipment specific sites, or will engage with blogs like that of Mike Johnston otr Luminous Landscapes.​

    Most of these sites are very low usage sites and can't generate the ad revenue. Only Luminous Landscapes comes close to photo.net, but its forum traffic isn't generating the hits. APUG, in particular, has terrible stats and even getting the film forum traffic from photo.net wouldn't bring them into the top 15 million sites.
    I don't see the PNet system of photo uploading as particularly clunky.​


    Try Facebook or flickr. The difference is obvious in two seconds.
     
  75. Doesn't sound like you read the forums much.​
    As I said I usually come in get what I need and leave. Most of the topics I research have great answers stretching back years... long before smartphones were common. And in the more modern threads I read I have never seen anyone telling someone who only has a cell phone camera not to shoot. There are extremists on both sides of that issue. That's just life on the internet. Most people are in the middle and give a pretty balanced honest opinion. Frankly one of my biggest issues with this site is the number of times someone will ask a perfectly good question or someone will give a perfectly good honest answer and like clockwork someone will pop up and say "It's not the camera it's the photographer." It's just such a meaningless utterance at this time. Camera, photographer, location, subject, lighting all contribute to most images. Why when you mention a camera or lens some people go into convulsions is beyond me. There are times when noobs make the mistake of thinking a particular effect or image is only obtainable with one piece of equipment. But in those instances over the years I've seen plenty of knowledgeable helpful people show up in the thread to explain how to get the effect with the equipment the person has already.
    While I will continue to visit, unless things change I'm not really inclined to contribute any more.​
    Ronald, I would encourage you to continue to contribute. If for nothing else it benefits posterity. This forum has been most useful to me because of searches. Asking questions hasn't really been all that necessary for me. I don't generally reply to threads that were started years ago. I did not know if that practice was frowned upon. I know threads aren't "bumped" here but I still didn't know whether posting a thanks would serve much of a purpose.
    I'm often disheartened when I read advice where the poster shows none of their work. How can you trust what they are saying is based on any real experience? Maybe they're a blowhard. Especially if they're not using their real name. Even if there is experience, the purported process recommendation on whatever may not be your cup of tea. But how do you know unless you can see the results of their recommendation and make up your mind whether to try their suggestion.​
    Alan, have you ever been shopping before? When I go into Lowe's and ask about a particular DYI product I don't ask to see a picture of the guy using it. You evaluate statements made on this forum the same way you would in any other venue in life. This is the only place I have ever been where someone would honestly say to your face I haven't seen your pictures so I am going to discount what you say. I'm not saying you've ever done that but I have seen others that have. Man, that is so rude and bizarre.
    More importantly a lot of the picture Nazis, who I consider the real blowhards, post images that prove nothing. Really in addition to a statement on the home page that says "get a contract" there should be another equally large and bold statement that says "a shrunken 500 pixel image that has been beaten to death in photoshop and had massive amounts of sharpening applied is basically useless for evaluating lenses, cameras, tripods, etc." You may get an idea of the artist's photoshop skills or talent in picking subject matter and composing an image but that is basically useless for a lot of what is being discussed.
    You just have to use common sense. If I read a statement about the subtleties of TMAX 100 shadows vs Acros I pretty much ignore it. Even if someone submits scanned images unless I know the whole work flow and they got drum scans of the images it is doubtful whatever is being said is going to be relevant to me in any meaningful way. Just let those people argue. And likewise if someone tells me noise is not an issue on their cell phone camera and they show me some shrunken photoshoped image I just ignore that. The fact they posted an image doesn't make it any more worthwhile than the TMAX 100 vs Acros guy with no image. That's one of the reasons I like DP Review. They post full resolution images in standard setups and take the photographer out of the picture so you can objectively analyze gear. They've saved me tons of dough and plenty of anxiety by having a good scientific workflow and showing constantly upgrading equipment is simply not necessary these days.
     
  76. "While I find this an interesting read, I think that the wrong people are
    contributing. The people here are those who are still active on the site.
    I'd like to hear from people who do NOT post anymore, and find out why they
    don't."

    Those active on the site long enough can tell us equally why others don't participate. What's lacking isn't some special insight, rather the site clearly defining its well developed business and operational objectives, sicking to it, and plowing ahead to achieve it.
    There are many good suggestions in this thread and most of the problems mentioned exist on every site. It's not an easy nut to crack and P.net would be on the wrong path, in my view, if admins were influenced to appease the disgruntled and to steer its path toward being all things to all people.
    There are some simple things the site can implement to greatly benefit its culture beginning with a "Be Nice" policy that is clearly spelled out and encouraged, and where offenders are nicely addressed off-thread. The business of the abrupt closing of threads, banning members, and publically posting downright insulting followups just doesn't sit well with most people even if they had nothing to do with the conflict, and should never happen.
     
  77. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    A big problem these days is people dropping terms like "nazi" for online forum postings. It's an indicator of how low discourse can go.
     
  78. I read the following forums: Alternate cameras, Modern film cameras, Canon FD, Off topic, Classic manual cameras, Casual photo, Medium format, Large format, Film + processing, B&W film.
    When I do ask a question I get few replies and most are not satisfactory answers. When I do offer advice it is more often ignored or discounted. I no longer offer advice to newbies who ask what camera to buy when they say they have an interest in a particular model of camera and want to hear opinions because the only opinions they want hear are people telling them what a great choice they are thinking of buying.
    I like the Classic forum but it gets tiresome hearing people be amazed that film cameras actually could produce photos or people spreading urban legends about film speeds being so slow in the "old days" that the cameras were limited in features when, in fact, 80 years ago there were cameras with 1/2000 shutter speeds and f1.5 lenses. Not to mention the "cover your red window with tape" nonsense. Add to that the tiresome people who own one old camera and think they have bought into an exclusive club of some sort that entitles them to contribute when they have little to share knowledgewise.
    I use these forums to keep up with trends as to which way things are going film-wise, etc., but I must say this website is a poor "dipstick" for such data. I must say I wish I knew which website is driving the trends so I could hang out there instead because, in playing the used film camera market, the trends of what is selling "hot" one month to the next on the big web auction site is totally missed or not noted on this website.
     
  79. It's interesting that this is one of the busiest threads on the site. Every time a "what's wrong with the forums" appears as a question it's the same. This isn't the first thread on the subject and it certainly won't be the last. The common theme is that there is no common theme. Get 100 posters, get 100 opinions on what is wrong (or occasionally what is right).
    I'm not sure there is an answer. I'm not sure you can ever have a forum that's polite, on topic, provides accurate information, is interesting to read and is also high traffic. The two don't mix well. What you need to generate traffic is lots of arguments, disagreements, wildly incorrect statements and people correcting them, along with speculation and rumors and the ability of posters to include pictures of their cat and their favorite quote from Nietzsche. Basically the more you allow people to shout "LOOK AT ME", the more they will shout "LOOK AT ME" and the more traffic you can generate.
    My favorite quote from Menken{*} runs along the lines of "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American Public". I think what that means is that the "lowest common denominator" will beat the "highest common factor" most of the time. Quantity beats quality. The average Twitter post or Facebook page pretty much supports that (see, I got in a dig against Facebook and Twitter!)
    How do we "fix" the forums? I have no idea. I guess the question presupposes that the forums need "fixing". I'm not so sure that they do. Any "fix" will probably annoy as many users as it pleases. I also suspect that anything that significantly increased traffic, while it would obviously please the newcomers, might not be exactly what most of the current forum participants would wish for.
    If I had a cat, here is where I'd post its picture.
    {*} actual quote is - Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.
    00bQd1-524147584.jpg
     
  80. If I had a cat, here is where I'd post its picture.

    Bob as in your recent post in the Off Topic Forum we now know you'd cook it!
     
  81. Actually I borrowed Schrodinger's cat, but it's still in the box (or maybe it isn't...)
    00bQdS-524153584.jpg
     
  82. "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American Public".​
    Well, that explains the success of Lensbaby lenses. Or, should I have said Canon and Nikon? Or digital?
     
  83. If you are losing ground and defending the status quo with a closed mind I think the world will pass you by. PN is losing ground. Some here are defending the status quo. This defies what I have learned in actual practice associated with a very successful, nationwide technological and cultural change a few years back. You are navigating your cars with it and it is now being used in cameras. The American Management Assoc. has studied hubris driven corporate failures and has case histories of the effects of monomaniacal entrenched thinking. These problems have caused some significant major corporate failures. I hope the new management here brings some fresh thinking and new ideas to this site. Selfishly I would like to see it survive and grow. The most telling suggestions I have seen here involve consolidation and defragmentation of forums, enabling up to date and simple picture posting, and placing more emphasis on newcomers so they feel comfortable and stay and bringing more actual participants on board. This is a start. I would hope also that some emphasis would be placed on gaining participation of a lot of those who visit and don't participate. There are some big numbers there. It is really a small cadre who authoritatively dominate some of the most popular forums. My question is: does the less active large membership exist to support site use of the few who are very active? The major question also highly important is how to make the site more attractive to advertisers.
     
  84. I can’t answer the question directly, since this is a matter of statistics, but I will say this: if a newbie posts a question, the chances are very high that he/she will get either a sarcastic supercilious reply or one that goes into microscopic detail which the OP will never read, even if he/she were capable of understanding it. The chances of getting a short simple answer which is useful are pretty low.
    I feel I can say that whenever possible I try in situations of this kind to give short to-the-point replies based on 45 years of professional media experience, including quite a bit as a workshop leader and technical author on photography. Half the time I regret doing this, since there seem to be a lot of people here with unknown levels of experience and knowledge and a powerful compulsion to trash the opinions of anyone they disagree with. This makes the impression on newbies that PN is inhabited by grumpy old farts! The golden rule in pro photography is – a good picture is one that fulfils its intended purpose! That’s the ONLY rule, but one which amateurs have the most excruciating difficulty in understanding!
     
  85. "It's interesting that this is one of the busiest threads on the site. Every time a "what's wrong with the forums" appears as a question it's the same."
    Bob, I think the reason is responding participants really do care about the site's future. No one will invest their time and effort into something that goes nowhere and that includes every member of this site as well as NameMedia.

    The only meaningful site statistic to me is the number of paid subscribers and its trend over the years which is obviously confidential and not made public. As a barometer of participant loyalty, it can also serve as an indicator of whether the site needs fixing and by all accounts, it does.

    We spend $25 a year here by choice when there are infinite numbers of sites that will gladly take our money, so naturally there will be expectations that P.net will at least put in an effort to address. It also costs typically 10x more to get a new paying customer than it does to keep an existing one, so keeping existing paid members happy not only makes good business sense, it'll also likely please and attract newcomers.

    As for site restructuring, I wonder if one ought to go back to first principles to reexamine photography as an industry in the context of gear evolution, evolving consumer preferences and what they are really looking for to satisfy their needs. Having one forum per category sounds logical, but how many actual topics can any category generate before fatigue sets in, and how will the site address that?

    It also seems curious that a supposed premiere photography site will contain as many off-site links as I see in many forums here. It tells me that the real information already exists elsewhere or has been discussed extensively and here's where you go to learn more.

    If nothing else, it's lots to think about for this site to regain and maintain its relevance in a world not standing still and filled with high quality content.
     
  86. I've been involved with forums since the early 1990s. I organized the rec.photo USENET groups "back in the day", so I'm clearly a dinosaur, but an experienced dinosaur I guess.
    The problem with forums is and always has been that everyone wants to read interesting posts, but few are actually capable of making them. There's also the issue that you can make any forum you want, but you can't make people post in it. I'm not at all sure that "defragmentation and restructuring" forums helps much and it presupposes that the forums are fragmented and badly structured in the first place. I don't think they are.
    Photo.net's strengths are also its weaknesses. It's more diverse in coverage than most sites. Find somewhere else that has an active gallery section, people discussing wet chemistry darkroom techniques, people discussing old mechanical cameras, people discussing the latest digital innovations, people discussing the philosophical basis of photography, equipment reviews, tutorials on techniques and so on. You won't find one. Photo.net is different things to different people.
    You can also ask the question as to whether or not the forums are the heart of the site. I wonder what fraction of people who view photo.net participate in the forums? How many just stay in the gallery section? How many just read the articles and reviews? Are forums in fact the most important part of the site? Do they generate the most revenue? Just because they are the most visible part of the site to anyone participating in this discussion doesn't mean that they are the part of the site that needs the most attention.
    I refer you to the the parable of blind men and an elephant - of which Wikipedia says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant)
    "In various versions of the tale, a group of blind men (or men in the dark) touch an elephant to learn what it is like. Each one feels a different part, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then compare notes and learn that they are in complete disagreement"

    The site (i.e. the owners of the site) first have to decide what they want the site to be and that has to be a goal with a reasonable chance of being achievable. It can't be all things to all people, especially in an ecosystem where there are so many alternatives and more photography and social networking websites coming online each day.
    Minor or even major tinkering with the forums isn't really going to affect site traffic much and it probably won't even affect forum traffic much. I suppose if we wanted more forum traffic the thing to do would be to abolish moderation and start forms devoted to discussion of such things as:
    Canon Rumors
    Nikon Rumors
    Why Film is better than Digital
    Why Digital is better than Film
    If Nikon and Canon had a fight, who would win?
    Why cellphone cameras suck
    How Photoshop is ruining photography
    and so on.
     
  87. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    I don't think I'm quite ready for this:

    (cyberqueen) - Hi, I have to show you this really cool camera I found ...

    http://assetsw.sellpoint.net/_acp_/302/623/asset/image_408660/1-Hero.jpg

    I mean it is small and cute and that red color is awesome not like those big clunky BLACK cameras that photo nerds use... UGH...And it is 16MP which is a lot so it takes really good pictures and you don't have to do anything and just point it and press the shutter thingy...

    ================

    (2gd4u).- You are so totally right about that... I got one and don't do anything and you can tell who the people are in the pictures and everything... I mean like sometimes they do look a little funny colored but hey what's the big deal... I bet none of those big ugly cameras could do any better anyway... I'm glad none of those old guys are around anymore always talking about white balance ... whatever that is ...and shutters and apereatures (sp?) and stuff that no one cares about anyhow...Hey, I just want to take pictures, okay?

    ================

    (im_de_man) - Right on!

    ================

    (cool_dude) - Sweet!

    ================

    (hot_hotty) - Like a big ugly camera is really going to make any difference. Geez what jerks.
     
  88. "I suppose if we wanted more forum traffic the thing to do would be to abolish moderation..."​
    I've actually wondered whether we should give that a trial run. Leave the Casual Photo Conversations and Off Topic forums essentially unmoderated - at least free of routine daily oversight. If there are serious problems, members with the "report spam" ability could flag posts for moderator attention.
    But otherwise, anything and everything goes - no limits on rumors, no limits on gratuitous versus threads, no limits on any topic of any kind as long as it's photo related for the Casual forum. Otherwise, everything goes to the Off Topic forum. A few designated members would have the ability to report abuse, which would be limited to overt spam, porn and death threats. Otherwise, participants enter at their own peril and assume all responsibility for resulting butthurt.
    It would eventually become more like YouTube comments or some of 4chan's less noxious boards, like /p/, /tv/... anything but /b/. Some folks might enjoy the daily free for all saloon brawls. Others would eventually be alienated by the inevitable sexism and gratuitous cussing and insults.
    Members who prefer moderated forums could still find refuge in the other existing forums.
    It'd be an interesting experiment.
     
  89. It sure would be an interesting experiment. Lex, and my prediction based on the average observed intellect and maturity is that a self-policing forum will work out just fine.
     
  90. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    The interesting experiment would be to allow members to make their own forums and mod them how they see fit. That's beauty of FB, Flickr, and G+ and why they have robbed readership from forums.
     
  91. it

    it

    There is a definite 90s feel to the layout of the forums here. It's fine for those who have been here since the Paleozoic era of the Net, but it ain't going to attract anyone under 40 IMO. Plus, the vast majority of chatter is by middle-aged guys about lenses. Kind of gets old after a few months, let alone decades.
    I have to refrain myself from answering questions like this. So instead, I just stay away these days. The only bright spot for me is the Thursday Canon thread which has a lot of great photography. I prefer to play around on my own FB photo page.
     
  92. The Canon EOS forum is carefully observed but moderation action is very rare. Some months there are no moderation actions at all. Seems go quite smoothly, but perhaps that's because most of the forum participants recognize the bounds to stay within and are reasonable people. Perhaps it's because all the really smart people use the Canon EOS system. Who knows,
    Short of actual abuse, there's really no need to moderate posts, no matter how dull, boring, obvious, repetitive or stupid they may be to me. Presumably they are interesting to the people posting them.
    As for middle aged guys talking about lenses, that's photo.net's demographic. They're probably the ones with the money to buy them too.
     
  93. ... the vast majority of chatter is by middle-aged guys about lenses ...
    Er ... yes! I think it's time I was going ...
     
  94. Everyone talks about lenses; just that the younger guys talk amongst themselves because they aren't assertive enough to spar with the middle-aged guys in an open forum. :)
     
  95. It's still about "this is the way we've always done it". The loose definition of entropy is the decay to failure of a system that receives no fresh input. Someone was right about the nineties feel to this site. The site, IMO, needs fresh thinking to allay the slow but obvious entropy that afflicts it. Bob Atkins I am not middle aged. I am a young eighty but I have managed enough change over the years to know that this site, to quote Boehner, needs to get off its collective ass.
     
  96. I could list make up a list of less than fifty posters that dominate the most active posts on PN. They jump on posts as they come in offering authoritative and sometimes very useful advice in the "which lens is better topic" and others. They also fight among themselves even at the most sophisticated level. They also, at times, belittle and look down upon and ridicule less sophisticated posters. This is bad for business. Many times they raid a thread with a sarcastic one liner and then leave. I believe they dominate the culture here; both good and bad.
    What I like about PN are the sane and thoughtful posts by those who know a lot about a given subject. I like to hear photographers speak from their own experience (I learned this in Dale Carnegie) rather than spout wisdom from on high. There are some very thoughtful people here. They are a treasure that you don't see so much in other fora. These are the ones I have learned from. To cite one who doesn't post much anymore it is Ellis Vener. Another is William W. He takes the time to educate and he has the bona fides to do that.What I like most about PN are the posts from people who are thoughtful and who try to educate rather than those who seem to want show how smart they are.
    Others, on occasion, spoil and hijack threads to fight to the end to win some obscure point. What I don't like are authoritative unsubstantiated opinions about equipment like "x lens blows y lens out of the water".
    I have gained much from this site. I spent several years managing a large project. It had my overtime, dedication and took a lot out of me. There came a time when I had to give up because with delays and funding problems it stretched out into obsolescence. I had to admit that I had given a few years of my life to something that would never see the light of day. I went on to manage the successor project which has now, after my retirement, seen the light of day. What I am saying it is hard to give up on old ideas and it hurts to do so but in the PN case I think change is essential. It just does not have the mass appeal of the competition in its present form. I think PN needs a gradual and thoughtful culture change. Again, I hope the new management is up to it.
     
  97. Can you cite a popular photography forum with a high traffic volume that doesn't have people giving authoritative unsubstantiated opinions about equipment like "x lens blows y lens out of the water"? It's part of the culture. It's the "LOOK AT ME" syndrome. I don't think there is anything you can do, any change you can make, that will result in a popular high traffic forum that doesn't have such posts - and many od them.

    We would all love a forum in which everyone posted interesting information, where everyone was polite and where everyone posted after careful thought about the subject under discussion, but that's about as unlikely as getting congress to actually vote on anything these days. Much as we would all like it, it just ain't going to happen.

    Doesn't mean we can't try, but expecting a culture change may be wishing for the impossible. It would certainly be possible to have a small "invitation only" forum where everyone was interesting, but it would be small and it too would eventually die from lack of new blood.

    Can you point to any high traffic popular forum anywhere on the Internet that you'd cite as an example of how an ideal forum should be? A forum that's the PBS of the Internet?

    Have you read the DPreview forums for example? Very popular, lots of traffic, but...
     
  98. Execute me in cold blood if you like but...
    Having some kind of "Like" button on a comment wouldn't go far a miss, make it a film canister. It would mean people valued a information as correct and answered the OP question.
    This might be helpful in the Beginners Forum to show relevance?
     
  99. The moderators' comments here tell me why nothing much will change. Too bad they couldn't just sit back and listen on this one.
    Shooting me just proves the point.
     
  100. The moderators' comments here tell me why nothing much will change.​
    My thoughts exactly after reading the bulk of their responses on this thread. For years I followed these forums reading suggestions for improvement and the superior,( I'm an expert! What do you know?) responses those suggestions received from the 10+ year admins. I and many others gave up and found other venues. Whenever I do drop by PN it is only to note that nothing has changed. Same crappy annoying interface, same heavy handed moderators, same old.......same old.
     
  101. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    Whenever I do drop by PN it is only to note that nothing has changed​

    Interesting that "noting" involved making 30 forum posts just this year.
     
  102. My take is that after 100+posts the esteemed moderators don't think there is anything particularly wrong with the forum. As long as this is the attitude nothing will change.
     
  103. Photography is about photos.
    It is not all about gear or about how clever you are.
    Too many keyboard champions.
    Folks on other sites post and share photos...why, because the bottom line photography is about photos. That is the real interest hence the popularity of the W/NW posts.
    Not some know all ego blasters.. with a few ,if any, poor photos to their name.
    The photos tell the story about the photographer...it is that simple to understand.
    And that is the intererst for any photo site.
     
  104. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    As long as this is the attitude nothing will change.​

    You're not paying, you don't like it here, why not just leave? I don't get these "it's terrible here" posts, nobody is made to stay.
     
  105. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    Photography is about photos.​
    Well that's true but I don't think it's sinking in.
     
  106. Photography is about photos.​
    Nonsense. Photography is about Eye-Cue and Bokey. The most important question a poster can ask is whether or not to 'upgrade'. Those who post this question will not waste their time posting photographs, which will be too small to evaluate the associated gear in any case.
     
  107. Jeff, you nailed it. I pay and I get uncomfortable when I get berated, especially by someone who doesn't pay. My questions or responses are typically informational so I only expect factual information, not opinion.
     
  108. A small request. My father was a combat infantry officer in the Ardennes from 1944-45. He carried a piece of a German tank shell in his jaw until the day he died. Can we avoid the word "Nazi" as a description of anything but members of the NSDAP?
     
  109. My young lad takes photos on his iphone and shares them on instagram. He takes as many photos as I do and has absolutely no interest in what cam/ device anyone is using...just the interest in the actual photo.
    Me, I like a bit of gear fondling as well...but, I'm not the future.
     
  110. Interesting that "noting" involved making 30 forum posts just this year.
    You're not paying, you don't like it here, why not just leave? I don't get these "it's terrible here" posts, nobody is made to stay.​
    I love it when my point is made for me. Lots of people, paying and not paying, have indeed left, I thought that the lack of traffic was the topic of discussion here. Although the second quote was directed elsewhere I'll respond by saying that I was a paying member for many years right up until a moderator told me, in response to a suggestion on policy, that if I did not like the way the place was being run I should leave. As Jeff astutely points out I've not left. My participation is minimal, by my standards if not Jeff's, and I stopped paying to be berated.
     
  111. Les, my father fought in and my uncle died RCAF during those same years. Your request if very reasonable. Too many people throw that word around as if it were an adjective.
     
  112. The moderators have a thankless job and as far as I know they are also unpaid volunteers. I'd cut them a ton of slack before pointing fingers especially knowing how having to deal with much of the nonsense that they do can impact ones psyche over time.
    They are also entitled to express their honest perception/opinion as much as we are from the sidelines.
     
  113. "You're not paying, you don't like it here, why not just leave? I don't get these "it's terrible here" posts, nobody is made to stay."

    Matter of fact, I am paying. My visits make up the count that you go out and hawk to advertisers who then pay the forum owners who in turn allow you to be boss.
     
  114. "Photography is about photos."

    What does that mean? Does that mean we dwell too much on equipment? If that was true I'd be shooting with my pocket digital and sell my 40 year old film gear. To me the joy of using the cameras makes me want to go out and take pictures. I would not have a tenth of the pictures I took last year if I didn't care about the camera I was suing.
     
  115. My take is that after 100+posts the esteemed moderators don't think there is anything particularly wrong with the forum(s)​
    Not quite. Perhaps the more accurate view might be that some moderators may be of the opinion that you simply can't please everyone all the time and that changes which might please some members would annoy others. You may cure any present "issues" for those who think things could be better, but you may equally well create "issues" for others. I don't think anyone would claim the forums are perfect, but I suspect nobody thinks that forums ever can be "perfect" and there would even be a wide range of opinions on what a "perfect" - or even a "better" forum might be.

    If you can point to a photography forum that's a model for what photo.net should be, then two questions come up. First, why are you posting here, not there. That's not a put down, it's a serious question. The second question would be if it makes sense for photo.net to copy something that's already a success. It's like trying to turn MySpace into Facebook. Facebook have already done it. I guess a third question would be how much traffic that forum generates. From a business point of view I guess the Dpreview forums are pretty good - but I wouldn't want to live there (which is why I don't).

    We've had all these discussions before. They're fairly pointless. Those who control the forums (and that's NOT the moderators) will do whatever they think best. They might read the comments here, but since they get 100 different suggestions from 100 different posters, they're going to have a hard time deciding what to do, if indeed they think something needs to be done. Moderators have no say in the matter unless they are asked for their opinions by the people capable of instituting changes. Basically, don't blame the moderators. They are unpaid volunteers. If you want an unmoderated site you could have one I guess, but I'm not sure you'd like it.

    Previous threads along these lines. There is never a shortage of people who know how to make the forums better.
    http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/004cMY
    http://www.photo.net/medium-format-photography-forum/00MvrH
    http://www.photo.net/site-help-forum/00HzCT
    http://www.photo.net/site-help-forum/00I2KF
    http://www.photo.net/site-help-forum/00Y6Z0
    http://www.photo.net/site-help-forum/009bOF
     
  116. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    Just to add to Bob's comment: I've been on this site for a very long time, and I can't think of a single major change in policy or in the way things worked that didn't result in complaints (often from the same people who were previously complaining that things needed to change).
     
  117. Could it be...could it just be...that some of us are out taking photographs, not sitting uselessly in front of a computer tapping out idle chatter by the trainload? Could it be we are sharpening our photographic skills, not trying to get carpel tunnel as a badge of honor? Could it be we are looking through a vievfinder for most of the day, not squinting at a computer screen?
     
  118. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    "If you want an unmoderated site you could have one I guess, but I'm not sure you'd like it."
    Like Flickr, 500px, Google+, and Tumblr? Those?
     
  119. Wayne, you haven't upload a single photo in six years? No links to your website? We will have to take your word for it I guess.
     
  120. Could it be...could it just be...that some of us are out taking photographs, not sitting uselessly in front of a computer tapping out idle chatter by the trainload? Could it be we are sharpening our photographic skills, not trying to get carpel tunnel as a badge of honor? Could it be we are looking through a vievfinder for most of the day, not squinting at a computer screen?
    Just for the record - I "squint" at a computer screen for a living (not related to photography). I visit PN while documents are printing or for a couple of minutes' light relief in between intensive bouts of creative writing. I could imagine there are numerous others in similar positions.
     
  121. PN ought to start doing some collective creative trafficking...
     
  122. Is forum traffic dropping? Possibly, but things probably go up and down without much forwarning, somewhat like the temperature.
    How to increase membership (or visibility)? Maybe a forum on "Cellphone photography" or one with a similar name (unless mirrorless is supposed to cover that)? "Cellphone photography" might attract more of the younger site users and we older members might learn something about this rapidly growing field of imaging.
    If a moderator or owner is watching:
    What if anything is wrong with a forum entitled "Photographic Approaches"?
    Such a forum may not appeal to all gearheads or to all cellphone users, or others, but it might get to the basis of photography - its practice, and how that might differ from person to person, and also insert more photo uploads. I would be glad to learn something from other photographers who insist more on "seeing" than simply "looking" and are ready to discuss that in addition to simply posting the photograph.
    How about it, respected site officialdom?
     
  123. I think the mod delete my posts without telling me why.
     
  124. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    Arthur, there is a Phone and Mobile Photography forum here on photo.net. It doesn't get much traffic, though.
     
  125. Thanks, Mike. I guess I have been asleep since October last. Good addition, that might take a bit of time before it is used more frequently.
     
  126. All of this means nothing if PN cannot sustain itself because of decreasing demographics. To paraphrase General Douglas MacArrthur: old websites never die they just fade away. I might add helped by those who are resistant to change. There is a lot of good information in this thread by people who are being told they just don't understand by those who defend the way they have always done it. I hope management is reading it and can make sense and find things positive in the obvious interest, myself included, in the survival of photonet by those of us unwashed contributing to the thread. Photonet is being left behind both technically and attitudinally by the rest of the photo universe. I hope I am wrong.
     
  127. I joined just a few years ago, with the intent of being a part of a community of fellow artist. I have already craved out a career as a commercial photographer hoping to gain some insight into a changing landscape. When I started out as a photographer, there were certain standards for good and/or great photography. You worked on your craft to get published and/or accepted by the top art directors, eventually gaining an audience of fans, clients, and peers.
    The Internet and digital photography has changed that. Not saying that's a good or bad thing, but the standards have changed. People now can publish their own work, on many different sites and claim they're successful. The egos of artist(s) has always been an issue, once they come together. For me, Photo.net has become more of a verbal site than a visual one. I learn more from looking at great work than hearing someone's evaluation of that work. The lighting, design, composition, tonality, etc...I can see for myself. After all, this is what inspired me to become a photographer in the first place...
    I know that people will disagree about just about everything, especially artistic disciplines, so that doesn't bother me so much. What does, is more emphasis on critique rather than promoting good photography and photographers to help their careers and to set a standard for beginners and people who want to get better, and/or a level to aspire to....I believe the site should become a place where even art directors will come looking for talent.. It seems to have become a playground where everyone can do as they please until things get nasty...and they do get nasty. We all know how people would drive if there were no lane markers. So what and where are the lane markers for Photo.net?
     
  128. Gup

    Gup Gup

    I've got two kids who have graduated university from art programs. Both programs required them to own digital SLRs. In the 6 years since they started school I have had the pleasure of meeting many of their classmates and almost all of them have requested me 'friend' them on Facebook. At some point I always ask them if they visit P.net. The answer has ALWAYS been no. I then make it a point to email them the site URL with the message that their photo related questions can almost always be answered here either by search or by posting a question. I ask the same question of anyone I buy or sell a camera to/from. I have never run across a fellow P.netter this way either (I buy and sell regularly).
    Maybe many of us are here because we needed help years ago with the transition from film and we were desperate to listen to those who had already made the jump. There were far fewer places to go for answers then and we all needed each other enough that to be uncivil or sarcastic would have been counter-productive if not ridiculous. That is my story, at least. Today digital photography is no longer a mystery and there are hundreds of places to look for answers and videos to watch if reading isn't your strong point. Not everyone aspires to be a great photographer but many want help in making informed decisions.
    I have read thousands of threads here, often in their entirety, without ever leaving a post. I am often in awe of the knowledge and willingness to share that fellow P.netters show. I didn't know that the forums were in trouble or broken. Sure, I would love to see less of the in-fighting and rivalry. I guess old Debate Clubbers die hard. But, all I have to do is read half a dozen comments left anonymously in the Toronto Star online addition (insert any newspaper here) after just about any story to realize how good we have it here. I am more than happy knowing there are moderators to sort out the idiots. I am not always happy with their choices but I know it's a thankless job and I wouldn't want to do it.
     
  129. "At some point I always ask them if they visit P.net. The answer has ALWAYS been no."
    I've had similar experiences with my friends and acquaintances.
    A few reasons I can think of might not be easily addressed, things like the domain name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue and .net sounds like a charity or academic organization. The site looks comparatively antiquated which further reinforces the overall dated perception.
    There is plenty of content here but it's clunky to find at best, and who's willing to stay a few days to find out these days.
    Successful communities also begin with cliques which is frowned upon here so there'll never be an incentive for anyone to join in order to interact with a bunch of strangers in an antiquated culture and environment.
    Few of these issues exist in more successful operations, and for this site, it's a long road for someone to come here, decide to sign up, then perhaps contribute content, and just maybe becoming a subscriber.
     
  130. I had a thoughtful post in draft mode early last night when the server here totally bonked and I lost my post. So I retried
    for about ten minutes and realized why it is I am frequenting forums less and less these days and instead, worked in my
    darkroom until 1AM getting ready for a show.

    My participation on forums has been sharply reduced in recent years because frankly it gets in the way of photography. I
    no longer put work on the net because I am tired of the chasing of copyright infringements, have not had a publically
    viewable website in 8 years, better for it too. I also see far less traffic in my preferred area of discussion, film and
    darkroom. I post mostly on APUG because that is where the future of my career in photography is, film. Everything else is
    just old, tired hyped digital...and I have been using that stuff for nearly 20 years, I really don't care to hear or talk about it,
    it means nothing to me...

    I come here now and then but for the most part, I stay off of the web as much as I can....my photography is much better
    as a result.
     
  131. "but I suspect nobody thinks that forums ever can be "perfect""
    Nobody is asking for perfection but when there is a suggestion that perhaps an entire forum on Minox is a bit misguided or a pathetic forum called Deals and Discounts which has neither and no person of authority picks up on it, it is clear that things are staying as they are.
     
  132. "If you want an unmoderated site you could have one I guess, but I'm not sure you'd like it."
    Like Flickr, 500px, Google+, and Tumblr? Those?​
    (Warning: Tedious exposition ahead. Bear with me.)

    I wouldn't regard any of those sites as unmoderated. My notion of virtually unmoderated or minimally moderated sites would include usenet, 4chan and reddit. Like photo.net, moderation varies within those overall structures. So while pretty much anything goes on some boards or groups, others have somewhat more active moderation.
    But to a typical member of a more regulated site like photo.net, 4chan /p/, the photography board, would seem like completely unregulated anarchy. It isn't, but moderation is generally confined to deleting porn, spam, and outright overt trolling by /b/tards or other board raids involving irrelevant memes. On other boards porn is not only tolerated but normal, with only child porn being off limits and subject to banning offenders and blocking their IPs. Participating on usenet, 4chan and reddit usually requires a wry sense of humor, an enormous capacity for weathering insults, obscenities and flames, and the ability to discern between useless trolling and valid information delivered inside a barbed bundle of sarcasm and insults.
    It also involves dispensing with unwarranted self importance. Sites on which anonymity and pseudonymity are the norm don't care about your ego, claims of experience or purported expertise. Every single post is a new challenge to prove your worth, with each opinion or assertion standing on its own merits or failing.
    As I've said before, many of the folks who *think* they want less active moderation really don't have the stomach for it. If they did, they'd already be on usenet, 4chan, reddit or other virtually unregulated site where pretty much anything goes. They wouldn't be here complaining about moderation. And they're not really complaining about moderation. They're complaining about *who* wields the power.
    There's a reason why new web type forums and social media are popular: they really are surprisingly heavily moderated. The difference is that the individual member *is* the moderator. Most of us don't mind control,as long as we have it, personally and individually. The real issue is having more control over the content we contribute, and the unwanted content posted by others that we're forced to see in order to find the content we want and agree with.
    Some of the main differences between the new web and old web sites like photo.net are:
    • Nearly autonomous micro-niches within existing sites.
    • Content control by contributors.
    Flickr groups can be set up by individuals who are the moderators. They can also give moderation authority to other members. Those groups are essentially autonomous within Flickr, as long as they abide by Flickr's overall policies, which in some cases are more restrictive than photo.net's, particularly concerning nudes.
    Facebook, Google+ and a few other sites also offer the ability to set up micro-niche groups within their structures. The group owner is the moderator.
    Moderation differs somewhat on social networking sites. Each member is his/her own moderator. Any individual member on FB and G+ can filter or block certain types of posts or unfriend/unsubscribe people or groups they don't wish to connect with. The Social Fixer add-on for Facebook gives us even more control (which Facebook doesn't seem to "like", so the developer for Social Fixer is continually struggling to adapt the add-on).
    So the most significant differences between new web and old web sites like photo.net involve individual control/ownership of his/her own content; and the ability to filter or block posts, people or sources we don't want to see.
    There was a time when I firmly supported the concept of sites like photo.net, where individuals have limited control over their content after posting. In part this was based on extremely negative experiences with another hobbyist site that permitted indefinite edit windows, which were abused for trolling. But in the end I realized the problem wasn't with that individual control over content, but the fact that the site administration was actively involved in trolling and abusive, slanderous attacks using multiple sockpuppets. The fact is, many sites allow members free control over their own content and this ability is not abused.
    So, long story short, I'd agree, photo.net's model for rigid site control over member content is obsolete. I don't necessarily agree that moderation is the problem. Anyone who joins a site like this and stays implicitly and perhaps unconsciously wants some degree of moderation - the question is... who has that control. Individual members expect more personal control over their own content and over what they see. That's the direction of the web and social media over the past several years and from that perspective photo.net is behind the times.
     
  133. Lex, appreciate your thoughtful perspective, but p.net is fundamentally different from these other sites which also serves as its way of differentiating itself. Whether by design or default, there are benefits and advantages to an open site-wide clusters of forums not the least is ease of access and active or passive participation.
    Perhaps the p.net model can evolve to include elements of social media by becoming more tolerant of cliques in its culture, for example, which often serve as building blocks of communities as opposed to its current culture of assembling a collection of individuals.
    The heavy moderation you describe in social media (such as Facebook) is to me an example of ways to assemble like-minded individuals. It promotes peace and harmony, but does little in the way of sharing except amongst themselves.
    Each mode of operation has its pitfalls and I suspect it'd be too costly for p.net to experiment as it also does not necessarily solves the problem of generating revenue; it's even questionable whether these other sites are profitable but it's interesting to think about and discuss.
     
  134. I think these ideas are worth trying. 1) Jim Trahan [​IMG], Mar 09, 2013; 12:05 a.m.
    Barry, I like the symmetry and natural posture of this portrait. As for a quarterly review, I think that perhaps allowing people to post their favorite four shots of the year (as you setup around New Years). I am open to the thoughts of others. One thing I am certain of is that I do not want to insinuate competitiveness into w/nw. I like the mutual support and camaraderie we have here.
    One notion I think could be fun, an idea borrowed from Magnum, is to have fellow members curate their favorite photos of another member ("Secret Santa" style). Random assignments are made and favorite photos are chosen. For example, I may be assigned to Knut (choosing my favorite of Knut's photos), Knut may be assigned to Barry (choosing his favorite of Barry's photos), Charlie is assigned to Knut, and so on...
    The thing I like about this idea is that it allows us to familiarize ourselves with the work of others, seeing it in a different way than the shooter: this is a learning and teaching[​IMG] experience.
    Magnum went so far as to have photographers write a paragraph or two on what they discovered in their fellow photographer's work.
    2) Lex Jenkins [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG], Mar 08, 2013; 10:23 p.m.
    "I suppose if we wanted more forum traffic the thing to do would be to abolish moderation..."
    I've actually wondered whether we should give that a trial run. Leave the Casual Photo Conversations and Off Topic forums essentially unmoderated - at least free of routine daily oversight. If there are serious problems, members with the "report spam" ability could flag posts for moderator attention.
    But otherwise, anything and everything goes - no limits on rumors, no limits on gratuitous versus threads, no limits on any topic of any kind as long as it's photo related for the Casual forum. Otherwise, everything goes to the Off Topic forum. A few designated members would have the ability to report abuse, which would be limited to overt spam, porn and death threats. Otherwise, participants enter at their own peril and assume all responsibility for resulting butthurt.
    It would eventually become more like YouTube comments or some of 4chan's less noxious boards, like /p/, /tv/... anything but /b/. Some folks might enjoy the daily free for all saloon brawls. Others would eventually be alienated by the inevitable sexism and gratuitous cussing and insults.
    Members who prefer moderated forums could still find refuge in the other existing forums.
    It'd be an interesting experiment.
    *****
    JSC
     
  135. I think these ideas are worth trying. 1) Jim Trahan [​IMG], Mar 09, 2013; 12:05 a.m.
    Barry, I like the symmetry and natural posture of this portrait. As for a quarterly review, I think that perhaps allowing people to post their favorite four shots of the year (as you setup around New Years). I am open to the thoughts of others. One thing I am certain of is that I do not want to insinuate competitiveness into w/nw. I like the mutual support and camaraderie we have here.
    One notion I think could be fun, an idea borrowed from Magnum, is to have fellow members curate their favorite photos of another member ("Secret Santa" style). Random assignments are made and favorite photos are chosen. For example, I may be assigned to Knut (choosing my favorite of Knut's photos), Knut may be assigned to Barry (choosing his favorite of Barry's photos), Charlie is assigned to Knut, and so on...
    The thing I like about this idea is that it allows us to familiarize ourselves with the work of others, seeing it in a different way than the shooter: this is a learning and teaching[​IMG] experience.
    Magnum went so far as to have photographers write a paragraph or two on what they discovered in their fellow photographer's work.
    2) Lex Jenkins [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG], Mar 08, 2013; 10:23 p.m.
    "I suppose if we wanted more forum traffic the thing to do would be to abolish moderation..."
    I've actually wondered whether we should give that a trial run. Leave the Casual Photo Conversations and Off Topic forums essentially unmoderated - at least free of routine daily oversight. If there are serious problems, members with the "report spam" ability could flag posts for moderator attention.
    But otherwise, anything and everything goes - no limits on rumors, no limits on gratuitous versus threads, no limits on any topic of any kind as long as it's photo related for the Casual forum. Otherwise, everything goes to the Off Topic forum. A few designated members would have the ability to report abuse, which would be limited to overt spam, porn and death threats. Otherwise, participants enter at their own peril and assume all responsibility for resulting butthurt.
    It would eventually become more like YouTube comments or some of 4chan's less noxious boards, like /p/, /tv/... anything but /b/. Some folks might enjoy the daily free for all saloon brawls. Others would eventually be alienated by the inevitable sexism and gratuitous cussing and insults.
    Members who prefer moderated forums could still find refuge in the other existing forums.
    It'd be an interesting experiment.
    *****
    JSC
     
  136. I think these ideas are worth trying. 1) Jim Trahan [​IMG], Mar 09, 2013; 12:05 a.m.
    Barry, I like the symmetry and natural posture of this portrait. As for a quarterly review, I think that perhaps allowing people to post their favorite four shots of the year (as you setup around New Years). I am open to the thoughts of others. One thing I am certain of is that I do not want to insinuate competitiveness into w/nw. I like the mutual support and camaraderie we have here.
    One notion I think could be fun, an idea borrowed from Magnum, is to have fellow members curate their favorite photos of another member ("Secret Santa" style). Random assignments are made and favorite photos are chosen. For example, I may be assigned to Knut (choosing my favorite of Knut's photos), Knut may be assigned to Barry (choosing his favorite of Barry's photos), Charlie is assigned to Knut, and so on...
    The thing I like about this idea is that it allows us to familiarize ourselves with the work of others, seeing it in a different way than the shooter: this is a learning and teaching[​IMG] experience.
    Magnum went so far as to have photographers write a paragraph or two on what they discovered in their fellow photographer's work.
    2) Lex Jenkins [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG], Mar 08, 2013; 10:23 p.m.
    "I suppose if we wanted more forum traffic the thing to do would be to abolish moderation..."
    I've actually wondered whether we should give that a trial run. Leave the Casual Photo Conversations and Off Topic forums essentially unmoderated - at least free of routine daily oversight. If there are serious problems, members with the "report spam" ability could flag posts for moderator attention.
    But otherwise, anything and everything goes - no limits on rumors, no limits on gratuitous versus threads, no limits on any topic of any kind as long as it's photo related for the Casual forum. Otherwise, everything goes to the Off Topic forum. A few designated members would have the ability to report abuse, which would be limited to overt spam, porn and death threats. Otherwise, participants enter at their own peril and assume all responsibility for resulting butthurt.
    It would eventually become more like YouTube comments or some of 4chan's less noxious boards, like /p/, /tv/... anything but /b/. Some folks might enjoy the daily free for all saloon brawls. Others would eventually be alienated by the inevitable sexism and gratuitous cussing and insults.
    Members who prefer moderated forums could still find refuge in the other existing forums.
    It'd be an interesting experiment.
    *****
    JSC
     
  137. Fix the interface!
     
  138. What's truly absurd about the moderators' comments is the concern about PN becoming vulgar. Doesn't PN have to attract a great deal more attention before vulgarity becomes worrisome?
     
  139. I have never had a problem with moderators or their stepping in when things get out of hand. My work background had a lot to do with fixing broken major acquisition programs. A lot of that fixing had to do with changing paradigms and people to get a new start. What is the corporate plan for PN? Is there one or does this site just run situationally hoping things will turn out better? As above, I believe there are a lot of interface problems; i.e. posting pictures, multiple fora, the way photo news is presented, better exposure for customer written equipment evaluations, etc. I also think there are problems with a small group of those playing a big fish in a small pond driving many of the discussions here. I look at DP and their volume where those big fish are overwhelmed by the unwashed in sheer volume and see a site in constant change trying to improve. Witness their alliance with DXO for equipment reports. We'll see if that creativeness stays now that the founder has sold the site. I do not like DP as well as I like PN but dammit they get huge numbers of responses and visits and they don't charge for membership. They also hype for a lot of OEMs. The site is far more commercial than PN and turns out to be quite impersonal for my tastes but one should not reject their tactics out hand. Evaluating them could be useful in attempts to improve PN. PN does not necessarily have to be like them but a study of their methods along with those of Fred Miranda and others could help PN affect improvement. I keep posting in this thread because I like this site but I see here a lot of resistance to change. I think the moderators do an excellent job. So take what's good about PN, study the competition and make a plan to improve the site within existing resources and implement change gradually so as to track by demographics those incremental changes that are effective. It would not hurt to make such an improvement plan available for member comment. I think it important to keep the fundamental character of the site while getting rid of some of the more onerous things that detract from growth and sustainability. I am a paying member and very much wedded to this site. It can be should be improved.
     
  140. As I've followed this thread several times a day over the past week or so I'm reminded of the saying "if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there". I'm not at all sure there is a collective perspective on where P.Net is going. Most of us know where it has been, but even there we're like the story of the blind men and an elephant - each of us has our own description, based on our history here.
    My belief is that if we want this forum to grow we need to encourage things that are outside the norms we've come to expect. That includes cellphone imagery and text-style postings, for instance. It includes instagram and photo-shop imagery. And, I think that its too easy to post words, and too hard to post photos. That limits what gets onto this site, quite frankly.
    In the whole vein of "where do we want to go" we could consider what these other sites are for. I heavily use Google's Picasa and FB to share albums with friends and families. I wouldn't think of using P.Net for posting pictures of my recently-born twin grandchildren, or of my mother's birthday. That's what those forums are for. I occasionally use Flickr and 500px to post my best photos, but that's mostly because there's a little following built up over there, and quite frankly it is a safe place to post without someone telling me I don't know what I'm doing.
    If we are the place where "serious photography" is going to be we should accept that, and figure out how to make it easier to post photos and to continue to expand our horizons in regard to where those come from. Jeff Spirer and I argue about things, but his use of new technology inspires me constantly. We should welcome more of that. And, we should have a strategy to use the infrastructure of FB and the others - more links, using their "like" features instead of wasting money to build our own, and building a following that comes to us from those locations. If we want to grow this site we need to embrace more new stuff.
     
  141. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    Seems to be a lot of speculation, given that we know nothing about the factual nature of the problem. As a guy who used to make a living out of this sort of thing, I would not want to start suggesting or even hypothesising solutions until I know stuff like
    • How big is the decline in forum posts and people using the forums, and whats been the pattern in recent years?
    • Is the decline in number of questions asked, or answers per question, or both?
    • If the number of people using the forums is reducing , is it because fewer people are starting or because more people are stopping?
    • Or is it because posts per contributor have reduced? And if so is it heavy contributors or light contributors that are reducing their posts?
    • Whats happened to gallery posts at the same time and has the interrrelationship between gallery postings and forum postings changed.
    and this can (and should) go on. One needs to understand where the problem lies before speculating upon ( or better yet finding out) what the reasons and potential solutions might be. I don't think we're doing much more than trotting out pet theories here, without much of a clue whether they're relevent or not. I hope someone, somewhere is doing the real work on this.
     
  142. David Henderson. I know this much about PN. Apparently activity is declining. The user interface is ovbviously out of date. There is at least one site with far more activity on the same subjects that PN covers. Picture posting is difficult. The site is difficult for a newcomer to figure out. As David Cavan pointed there is a major shift to cellphones, Ipods etc. that is not covered in PN. There is new management at PN that is probably trying to figure out how to increase revenue and make the site robust. I agree that a full definition of the problem is in order before action is taken to correct it. However, I don't think we the users are going to be made privy to either the financials or management's resources to correct problems once they are uncovered. What I learned moving up in the large organization that I worked for is that the higher one gets in management the more difficult it is to obtain solid information with which to make decisions. All I can do here is to state my opinion that in comparison to other entities PN seems to be lagging the field by some distance. So I think there are problems to be solved. I could be wrong. What I do believe that the set of problems need to be defined and a plan to solve them be formulated based upon capability to afford and implement remedies. Maybe this is already being done. I don't know this and probably never will. So I will just keeping coming here and paying my dues as long as PN works for me. Certain problems are already obvious. I do have some gray hairs over situations like this that I have been involved in. Sometimes, in management one has to act without a full set of facts.
     
  143. As above, I believe there are a lot of interface problems; i.e. posting pictures, multiple fora, the way photo news is presented, better exposure for customer written equipment evaluations, etc.​
    A big problem with this site is the interface. It is unfamiliar to a lot of people. It is not the standard vbulletin layout. But it also isn't anything particularly novel in a good way. I do appreciate the minimalist black text on a white background. But I think the forum database is what it is. I believe a lot of limitations that have been mentioned in the past are due to the forum software and cannot be easily changed. Someone with more knowledge please correct me if I'm wrong. I don't want to spread misinformation. The picture posting policy is an issue. Posters have no control of their images after a few minutes. I personally don't want to give up complete control and have my images permanently on a high volume website. The website is just targeted to a different kind of poster. When I google a question I find the answer here more than I do at places like flickr. I see more pictures over at flickr though. Both sites have their place. You can't be all things to all people.
    I do not like DP as well as I like PN but dammit they get huge numbers of responses and visits and they don't charge for membership. They also hype for a lot of OEMs. The site is far more commercial than PN and turns out to be quite impersonal for my tastes but one should not reject their tactics out hand.​
    I think DPreview is a great site. I don't post over there but if I am going to buy a piece of new DSLR equipment they are usually my first stop. I actually don't think they "hype" products. There camera reviews are some of the most objective and balanced I've seen bar none. Plus like I've said they include full resolution images in standard studio setups so you can conveniently compare different sensors. It's that type of objectivity and thoroughness that is missing from a venue like photo.net. User reviews are fine but I like to have as much opinion removed as possible.
    A small request. My father was a combat infantry officer in the Ardennes from 1944-45. He carried a piece of a German tank shell in his jaw until the day he died. Can we avoid the word "Nazi" as a description of anything but members of the NSDAP?​
    If seeing terms like "grammar Nazi" on the internet is going to give you this level of distress I don't think making such requests on forums you visit is the solution. It's been almost 70 years and multiple generations... It's time to let it go. Just like photographs the written word is an art. A certain reasonable latitude must be allowed in order to have an interesting conversation. There is absolutely nothing that has occurred in the history of this forum that would make anyone think that a literal comparison is being made to someone that shot a person in the face with a tank shell.
     
  144. What is the corporate plan for PN? Is there one or does this site just run situationally hoping things will turn out better?​
    To me, this is the THE question that runs as a red herring through this thread. It's not just about forum positings, but also attracting new members - creating a sustainable future. So, instead of complaining about moderation and what's more, look what really happened in this thread. 15 pages, full with suggestions and ideas what could be done to make this place more attractive - if there ever was a sign that this is a community that cares, this is it.
    That does not mean all those plans are good or feasible. But would I be writing /developing a business strategy for p.net to move forward at this moment, I'd pick the cherries and put them on my pie. And start rolling out changes in quick small incremental updates, rather than large projects - to keep this feel that something is really happening.
    It would, however, be good (and appreciated) to be clear upfront on what the plans are, try to continue to engage the community where possible. We're worth it, I think :)
     
  145. +1 for what Wouter said - that's what I meant to say, I think.
     
  146. "The picture posting policy is an issue. Posters have no control of their images after a few minutes."​
    Photos can be hosted off-site and embedded here on the discussion forums, or on any comment box that allows use of HTML (including comments/critiques on photos in the galleries). Many members do this for displaying their photos in the weekly or other periodic photo sharing threads.
    Again, that touches on my comments earlier regarding member control over their own content. But for many years there has been a way to do this with photos displayed on the discussion forums.
     
  147. I really miss Josh's engagement and clear communication in the forums...
     
  148. A little PNET to newbie warmth was in evidence just recently:
    http://www.photo.net/casual-conversations-forum/00bRHF
    I bet that guy won't be bothering us again with an observation about our great, if now long gone, founder!
     
  149. Oh yeah, I forgot what I was about to say:
    Here's a rough timeline of the photo websites I've frequented:
    1) PNET was all I looked at for a long time.
    2) Fred Miranda for a greater sense of general liveliness and participation over the last three years or so.
    3) DPR, too, for the last couple years. I'm amazed by the sheer volume and the fact that pretty much any gear-related inquiry can be answered very quickly, if with a rather wiki-like depth.
    4) Flickr: I've only been active there for the last three months, but I can see the way an addiction could form. First, it's ever changing and does inspire me to get out and take some pics. Second, it manages to meld specific cameras and the images created by them together.
    For example: The Fuki X100 group has 2600 members who have posted 63,000 images with only 132 discussions. The camera may be the hook, but the emphasis is on the images, with actual talk about the gear generating less activity.
    For some reason, I've never done a dang thing photo related on Facebook. Can't pin down a reason. I just don't like that site and have had little interaction with it, save for some old high school buds who've tracked me down using it.
    Here's hoping PNET finds a way forward.
    Cheers.
     
  150. "I'm often disheartened when I read advice where the poster shows none of their work"
    That's something I agree with - and very often the more self opinionated the poster, the less likely they are to have any images in their portfolio. There seems to be a very small number of posters who's main aim seems to be to contradict and argue with other forum users no matter what.
     
  151. There seems to be a very small number of posters who's main aim seems to be to contradict and argue with other forum users no matter what.​
    Contrast this with dpreview, where MOST of the posters fit into this category. And talk about folks with zero images, with the possible exception of a brick wall? Bet 75% of dpr matches that description. OTOH, their reviews are very useful, and some of the posters DO know whereof they speak.
     
  152. "I'm often disheartened when I read advice where the poster shows none of their work"


    Why shouldn't you be? It's happened to me a ton of times and when I click on their portfolio I see either no pictures or one of a blurry bird - In which case why are you talking to me as if I am a four year old?
     
  153. Gup

    Gup Gup

    This is the reason I don't post advice except perhaps in extreme cases where a beginner needs to know something fundamental. Even though I have space available to me here I don't upload anything to the gallery. I am too protective of the shots I treasure and have read too many accounts of people chasing their work all over the internet. It's selfish, but old habits die hard.
    My income from wedding reprints has almost dried up. I assume some of my wedding work is being scanned and handed out by the bridal couples. They feel entitled because they 'paid for it'. Copyright law hardly exists anymore. It's a sign of the times. I do try to upload into the N/W forum and other forums here to prove I have a camera, but that's it.
    I wish the shots I have uploaded just went directly into a file under my name for this purpose alone.
     
  154. This is the reason I don't post advice except perhaps in extreme cases where a beginner needs to know something fundamental.
    Understandable but unfortunate (for Photonet), since most newbies will make a first posting because they want to know something. I make a point of answering newbies’ questions whenever I genuinely know the answer and the question has not yet been covered by another expert PNer. Having always had some kind of a customer service role during my 40+years s a photographer and writer, I try to draw on this and give answers which are adequate but as short as possible. I particularly make an effort where a newbie has already had a “humorous” (i.e. rude and condescending) reply, but very often it is then already too late to make a positive impression. I do this not for egotistical reasons but because I want to encourage people to practise the craft of photography and would also like to feel that I have an opportunity to pass on some of my knowledge of older cameras and wet-process photography before I die!
     
  155. So 155+ post later what changed?
     
  156. So, after 155+ posts this has changed.
    .
    For the first time ever I am considering whether the $25 I handed over last month might be my last.

    As they say in the USA ... Money talks.
     
  157. So, after 155+ posts this has changed.

    For the first time ever I am considering whether the $25 I handed over last month might be my last.

    As they say in the USA ... Money talks.

    To add insult to injury I just got a '504 Gateway Time-out' as well. :-(

    And
    A
    Double
    Post!

    Jeez!
     
  158. This is the reason I don't post advice except perhaps in extreme cases where a beginner needs to know something fundamental. Even though I have space available to me here I don't upload anything to the gallery. I am too protective of the shots I treasure and have read too many accounts of people chasing their work all over the internet.​
    I wouldn't let a small vocal minority scare you off. The demands for pictures are bizarre. I have yet to encounter one of those people who posts pictures that are relevant to the topic being discussed. I mean it's nice and all that they have a picture of a cute kitten taken with their iphone but how on earth does that help me when I have a question about a part for by Beseler enlarger?
    A lot of the answers I get on here are found by simply searching. Most of the informative posts I find are from years ago and the authors have long since stopped posting here. I neither have the time nor the inclination to go through a bunch of threads in an attempt to find what pictures they have posted when all I need is specific advice about a part for my tripod.
    If you have useful information post it. Haters are gonna hate for all kinds of arbitrary reasons. Ignore them and provide the rest of us with information.
     
  159. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    I am too protective of the shots I treasure and have read too many accounts of people chasing their work all over the internet.​

    You've never heard of watermarks?

    And I've said this before and I'll say it again. I chase photos down on the internet. Everyone that has been lifted with one exception has been lifted from a client site. With your attitude, no pros would sell anything as the end market is now the internet. It's a very weak excuse.
    it's nice and all that they have a picture of a cute kitten taken with their iphone​


    I have yet to see that proffered as evidence that someone knows what they are talking about. However, the reason it matters isn't for a tripod part and nobody has ever suggested that. You're using an absurd argument. The reason it matters is that you don't want to take advice about tricky strobe lighting from someone who just uses an iPhone to photograph cats. You want to know that they know what they are talking about. I ask for this on anything, not just photos. I don't want the advice of a Walgreens clerk on what my blood test means and I don't want the advice of a kitten photographer on how to deal with the cage at UFC fights.

    I have noticed this a lot with concert photography. I notice it because I do it every week, sometimes four nights a week. I sell my photos, they get published, I get a lot of requests. I mentor a number of people who see my photographs and read my advice and ask. If I didn't have photos to show, none of these things would happen. My own pet peeve is people who say not to use a flash in a dark club because it will ruin the shots. The opposite is often true, and when you ask for evidence that someone knows what they are talking about, it isn't there. Or, as in one recent thread, you get photos taken with a flash of books on a shelf.

    It's not that easy for beginners to figure out if someone actually knows their stuff without seeing their photos. And for more advanced topics, it's essential. I go to a couple photographers whose portraits I have seen for lighting advice. I wouldn't take any advice from people who couldn't show that they have done it. I've seen enough people who claim to have taken concert shots and know nothing about what they claim to know.
    Haters are gonna hate​

    I haven't seen any hate here lately, and as a moderator, I delete it when I see it.

    [​IMG]

    Concert Shot with flash...
     
  160. I haven't seen any hate here lately, and as a moderator, I delete it when I see it.​
    "Haters gonna hate" is an expression in American vernacular. It does not mean literal full blown "hatred" in the classic sense. It's a slang thing.
    I have yet to see that proffered as evidence that someone knows what they are talking about.​
    That was hyperbole to illustrate a point and skip typing a bunch of words. All too often certain people use images for the wrong reasons. It's like those essay questions you get in exams in high school. You could write the most wonderful literary masterpiece but if you don't answer the question you get zero points. It doesn't mean what you wrote wasn't fantastic. It just means it wasn't relevant to what is being discussed. You see this on the internet and this forum all the time. Someone pops up proclaiming the fantastic image quality of whatever tool they like. As "proof" they post a shrunken 500 pixel image that has been beaten to death in Photoshop. After doing that they proclaim anyone that disagrees with them and doesn't post a picture is full of it.
    Not only is that behavior ridiculous it is also harmful to new comers that are genuinely trying to make a decision between formats digital, analog, 35mm, medium format, etc. Again like I said before I like DPreview's review articles because they post full size images with standard studio setups so you can compare apples to apples. And they also attach a healthy does of various spontaneous shots around the city. I also like the fact that the articles I've really explored have been honest and said subtle differences in camera x and the new "upgrade" version do not show up in prints. There are certainly certain scenarios where a visual aid lends credence to an argument but I have found rather unfortunately that there are all too many cases where someones argument cannot stand on its own and they have to resort to deceptive tactics in an attempt to "prove something."
     
  161. "Haters are gonna hate for all kinds of arbitrary reasons."​
    Interestingly inconsistent application of a meme for a guy who routinely Godwins threads and claims it has no meaning despite all evidence to the contrary that many folks do find it offensive and that you've been asked twice now by members who are not moderators to try some more imaginative hyperbole beyond the junior high school level.
    "More importantly a lot of the picture Nazis, who I consider the real blowhards, post images that prove nothing."
    "Anyway welcome to the forum. Please don't be one of those picture Nazis who discards perfectly good advice simply because someone didn't post their entire portfolio or because you think they posted some duds."​
    If that's your notion of a welcome message, perhaps there's a tiny hint about why forum traffic is dropping.
     
  162. Interestingly inconsistent application...​
    My statements regarding the picture Nazis was not arbitrary. I laid out what my exact issue was at least twice. Are you saying that you think shrunken 500 pixel Photoshopped images are the correct way to make a definitive determination of lens quality/sensor characteristics? That is what is being discussed here. If someone has a picture that is relevant and informs the discussion I wholeheartedly encourage people to post it as long as their copyright concerns have been addressed to their satisfaction.
    You need to read entire discussions or at least most of them. If you read the progression of the thread in question you would understand why I made the statement I made. The new poster made an observation about some pictures that were posted in some articles on this site. He was immediately savaged by other posters. One of whom skipped right over the picture Nazi routine and actually demanded a complete bio! My statement to him was perhaps a bit subtle for you. I was indirectly showing him that many of us do not condone the treatment he was subjected to and that we do not want him to be molded into a picture Nazi. As the thread had progressed he was being harangued into posting irrelevant pictures to mollify the picture Nazis. I merely expressed to him not to break under this deluge of abuse and become the very thing that was tormenting him. Is that a problem?
    And again none of this has anything to do with someone shooting someone in the face with a tank shell 70 years ago... not even close. You need to let it go and give some latitude for creative writing.
    This is an example of offensive and hateful with no point...
    “I like jews about as much as hitler.”
    -NYFD Commisioner's son (from an article in the NYPost dated 3/18/2013)​
    That's the kind of stuff I see in the real world. So if someone on a forum says "grammar Nazi" it's not something I even notice let alone get offended by.
     
  163. "If you read the progression of digression I've imposed on the thread in question to suit my own agenda you would understand why I made the statement I made."​
    Fixed that for you.
    "My statements regarding the picture Nazis..."
    "...picture Nazi routine..."
    "...we do not want him to be molded into a picture Nazi."
    "...the picture Nazis."
    ..."grammar Nazi"...
    You really can't take a hint, can you? Is this your first time on the internets?
    If you want yet another example of how sensitive an issue this can be to many, many people worldwide, note the recent lifetime ban of a Greek footballer for an alleged Nazi salute.
    "...it's not something I even notice let alone get offended by."​
    Must get lonely in that cobwebby attic of a brain.
     
  164. Gup

    Gup Gup

    You've never heard of watermarks?​
    So if I put a copyright symbol and my name in the bottom right corner I won't have to worry? Or should I stamp PROOF all over it? You've already admitted it doesn't work for you so you are contradicting yourself. Earlier I stated I thought it would be an improvement here if some protection against right-click theft was adopted. I know it exists elsewhere and it is a detterent for at least some of the thieves.

    With your attitude, no pros would sell anything as the end market is now the internet.​
    So now 'no pros' can earn a buck without displaying everything on the internet? Get a grip Jeff. It might be the only way you know how to sell but I would bet there are still a few of us doing it the old way. I know how many of my shots have been shared all over Facebook by just friends of friends to realize what I say is true. That is why I specified the shots I post there I already expect to share (the same as here). The ones I am more protective of never get posted. It would be dishonest to the customers that have paid me for a print to be that reckless with the shot. I'm not shooting the local talent and selling prints to their fans. For that, mass exposure would be needed.
    It's a very weak excuse.​
    And, I sure as hell don't feel I need an excuse not to post my portfolio here. I was merely agreeing with something Simon had said in that regard. I can't believe I'm even justifying it.
    When a N/W poster announces 'Show me your bird' and we all ante up I usually check to see who the poster is before complying because it could easily be someone in need of a good shot of an eagle or osprey or chickadee for their own purposes and I don't want it to be mine.
     
  165. I joined PN back in around 2002ish at my early stage of photography and PN was the only site I went for information, references, advices, tips and tricks, etc. I could say my photography career grew with PN. I was so inspired by one of the member's landscape work, my interest grew, and I still enjoy doing landscape until now. I enjoy reading Bob Atkins' , Lex Jenkins' ( a.k.a Perpendicularity Consultant back then), Shun Cheung's and many other's writing as well. I am still visiting Nikon, Canon, and General forums to read to keep me updated. Appreciate all the hard-working moderators, and many contributors to keep this site alive.
     
  166. This may be the most heavily posted topic on the whole website. These are just guesses, but I wonder if digital isn't one of the reasons for the slow traffic. I always have an old camera on a strap wherever I go, and many younger people who are interested in it don't even understand what a negative is. While I'm sure the auction sites are still selling the heck out of film gear, I get a gnawing feeling they're being bought and sold by mostly the same people! Maybe the film shooter market is going away due to camera phones, facebook,etc. Combine that w/ the aging, and yes, dying older photographers, and it might add up to a sizable number. Are other sites experiencing this? That would be a stone that needs to be upturned before any thing else is explored.
    Sites, and trends/people change too. I know of one site that used to be populated by people who knew their stuff, but every time I go there now it's populated w/ amateurs posing as experts, and the "advice" that is often given is ridiculous. It amounts to nothing more than strongly held opinions that seem based on web searches and looking at photos on flickr. Get real. That surely turns off knowledgeable photographers, and I only seldom go there due to this.Then there's another website that has mostly gear addicts. It's really more about showing off your cameras than your photos. Most odd, but traffic looks good there. So, lots of things to look at.
     

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